THE grieving family of stockman Troy Stephan are taking solace in the fact the 26-year-old was chasing his dreams when tragically killed on a remote property.
Mr Stephan's aunt Noleyne Milne has spoken proudly of a respected young man who grew up in Toowoomba with a love for horses and country life.
Mrs Milne said her nephew first moved to Cloncurry about 12 or 18 months ago to try his hand working as a contract stockman.
The trial, under the watch of his partner Katrina's uncle, was a success.
"He just loved it, absolutely loved it," Mrs Milne said.
She said Mr Stephan returned home to his parent's Perrin and Diana's Westbrook property where he spoke with his father about a permanent move to north-west Queensland.
It was not a decision he took lightly, considering his mother was not in good health.
"His dad was very happy for him to go and follow his dream."
Mrs Milne said her nephew took his own horses and kelpie dogs with him to work in the Cloncurry area.
His partner of five years Katrina found work in Cloncurry and they were planning their future together.
"It was going so well they were looking at buying a home up there and staying for a few years."
But the young couple's dreams were shattered late on the afternoon of October 5.
Mr Stephan was killed after falling from a quad bike as he was returning from feeding his horses.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service was called to the property, about 180km from Cloncurry, but Mr Stephan could not be saved.
Mrs Milne said her family had since received calls of support from many people who knew Mr Stephan.
He was schooled at Concordia Lutheran College before completing a butchery apprenticeship with Angliss Meats.
Throughout his youth he had enjoyed a close affinity with horses, having been a member at Goombungee and Cambooya pony clubs as well as an instructor at Pittsworth Pony Club.
He also loved rodeos and had competed in bull riding and saddle bronc competitions.
"He was most comfortable in his jeans and a cowboy hat."
Mr Stephan's younger sister Daurae described her brother as selfless.
"He was forever helping someone out and would be there at any time of the day or night if someone needed a hand," Miss Stephan said.
"People over the last week or so have described Troy as a hard worker, great mate and to me, one of the best is as a role model.
"He was my role model, someone that I have always looked up to and admired."
A celebration of Mr Stephan's life will be held at HumeRidge Church from noon today.
Family and friends are welcome.
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