UK-Born Kiwi Killed in MH 17 Tragedy identified

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By Kalyan Kumar | August 18, 2014 12:43 PM EST

The body of Rob Ayley, the only New Zealand resident killed in the Malaysia Airlines MH 17 tragedy, has been identified.

The Stuff.co.nz reported that his parents John and Wendie Ayley were informed by the British consular manager that their 29-year-old son's body had been identified.

Reuters
A family waits to place flowers at a vigil for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2014. A train carrying the remains of some of the nearly 300 victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over Ukraine was heading for Ukrainian government territory on Tuesday as a separatist leader handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian experts.

In a statement, Rob's parents said they were awaiting confirmation from Malaysia Airlines to go and collect Rob's body to New Zealand. The couple will also meet Rob Ayley's grandparents settled in the United Kingdom before returning with the body for funeral.

UK-Born Kiwi

Britain-born Rob Ayley emigrated to New Zealand when he was two years old  He carried a British passport and lived in Otaki with his wife Sharlene and two boys, Seth and Taylor.

Ayley had been flying home to New Zealand from Amsterdam on the MH17 flight. It was shot down on July 17 en route to Kuala Lumpur, killing all the 298 people on board.

A private memorial service for Rob Ayley was held at the St John's Anglican Church in Johnsonville on July 28.

Son Recalled

The grieving mother Wendie described her son as generous and loving. He was not a man of money and would give you the holes from his pockets, she recalled. Rob was passionate about life. He overcame Asperger's syndrome, which was a form of autism and became a very dedicated family man. According to the mother, Rob loved his boys very much. When they cried he was sad, when they laughed he was happy.

After leaving school at 16, Rob returned to school later in life and studied chemical engineering.  He was away in Europe for a month and looking for Rottweiler breeders. On the last day of his trip, he emailed his family how much he was looking forward to join them.

The parents also expressed their feelings for the families waiting for their dear ones. They said their hearts go out to all such families whose loved ones have not have made it to Amsterdam yet.

Mary Menke, the only native New Zealander on board of the ill-fated plane, was living at Mallacoota in Melbourne, Australia. She and husband Gerry died in the crash.

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(Photo: Reuters / Olivia Harris )
A family waits to place flowers at a vigil for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2014. A train carrying the remains of some of the nearly 300 victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over Ukraine was heading for Ukrainian government territory on Tuesday as a separatist leader handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian experts.
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