Soulmates lived for each other: South-west parents can only grieve

NATASHA Halls and Rob Davey were only teenagers when their romance started in Warrnambool's Safeway Supermarket.She was shopping and he was up a ladder working part-time when he spotted her.It sparked a relationship that lasted almost 20 years, until they died with their two young children, Jorja, 3, and Alexis, eight months, in the bushfire inferno that swept through Kinglake."They were soulmates who lived for each other," Natasha's Warrnambool-based parents, Michael and Elizabeth Halls told The Standard yesterday."We give thanks for their lives together. It's a tragedy it ended so early. They were very happy together, very beautiful people."The Halls last spoke with Natasha and Rob on Saturday afternoon when they were putting fire preparations in place."They were quite calm and thought they were just facing spot fires, not realising the ferocity that was coming," Michael and Elizabeth said."Rob had set up preparations with fire-fighting equipment, hoses, mops and buckets. Natasha was looking after the kids."Several attempts later to again contact them by telephone were unsuccessful, raising fears for the worst.The Halls had only been a few hours away in Gisborne, at Michael's late mother's house, when they had that final chat. A week earlier they and their other daughter Olivia had travelled to Kinglake to spend the day with the Daveys."We had lunch and an evening meal there and took about 50 photos of them with the kids," the Halls said."Olivia had suggested the trip to Kinglake. She was very close to her sister." Natasha was educated at Dennington Primary School and Warrnambool College.She left Warrnambool after completing year 12 and completed a hospitality and management course at Box Hill TAFE, a similar course to that which Rob completed at Warrnambool TAFE. The couple had been partners for 10 years and married in 2002 in the Yarra Valley.Natasha worked with financial planning and recruitment firms and helped Rob with their wine-selling business he developed into a nationwide network.The business was run from their Kinglake home, which they had owned for the past six years.A bushfire reflection service at Warrnambool's Christ Church yesterday was attended by about 10 members of the Warrnambool Hash House Harriers, in support of the Halls who are members of the group."We are a very close group. It's like our own family is suffering," group spokesman Ian Slockwitch said."Michael and Elizabeth are long-time members and Natasha was known by club members."Funeral details for the late Davey family are yet to be decided.

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