Canterbury's esteemed philanthropist Diana, Lady Isaac was farewelled yesterday at St Michael and All Angels church.
Lady Isaac died peacefully at her home in Harewood last Friday night, age 91.
The astute businesswoman, patron of the arts and conservationist was remembered for her many achievements, her kind heart and generosity.
The church was full and it included Mayor Bob Parker and mayoress Jo Nicholls-Parker, city councillors Peter Beck and Helen Broughton, and Selwyn MP Amy Adams who went to pay their respects.
Bishop Victoria Matthews presided over the ceremony.
Co-trustee of the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust Rob Clarke, long-time friend Dame Malvina Major, and Lady Isaac's niece Catherine Isaac were among those who spoke at the funeral.
Dame Malvina said she was privileged to know Lady Isaac and to call her such a good friend.
The pair met when Dame Malvina was performing an opera in Christchurch in the early 1990s.
"We saw the funny side of many situations, we laughed and cried and at times we acted like a couple of silly school girls. We even dressed up in opera costumes. I was having photos taken in her grounds and she wasn't going to miss out on the fun," she said.
As well as having a great sense of humour, Lady Isaac was not one to hold back on her opinion.
"I was warming up my voice for a concert performance and Diana was sitting listening. She said: 'Goodness me, that was a bad note, out of tune too. Better do it again.' Then she proceeded to tell everybody how she'd been such help to me correcting my singing."
Ms Isaac said her aunt was known for her public contributions. "Her roles and achievements in business and philanthropy read like an unrolling scroll," she said.
But not much was known about "Diana, the person".
Ms Isaac recalled "unforgettable, magical Christmas visits" complete with crackers, magicians, and potatoes mashed with a whole bottle of cream - the height of luxury.
She said there were always dogs in Lady Isaac's life; collies, rhodesian ridgebacks, jack russells, and russian wolfhounds.
Ms Isaac said visitors to her aunt's office at Isaac HQ would sometimes be surprised to find one of the russian wolfhounds casually draped across the sofa.
Her uncle, Neil Isaac, bought his wife several stylish cars over the years, including a Studebaker Hawk and an E-Type Jaguar.
"But she always told him they were entirely unsuitable unless the dogs could be comfortable in them."
Lady Isaac was a long-time supporter of the Cathedral Choir, fondly calling the choristers "her boys".
The day before she died, three of the boys visited and sang carols at her bedside.
Her response was: "Thank you, that was lovely."
Although she had lived in New Zealand for more than six decades, it was only in September that Lady Isaac gained New Zealand citizenship in a private ceremony at her home.