Let's face it, he was easy to poke fun at from time to time. Here in America, people made fun of his accent or his vernacular. Even in Oz some more cosmopolitan city dwellers were put off by his portrayal of their country. In the end, however, Steve Irwin was Aussie through and through. He loved his land, and did all he could to share that love with the rest of the world.
Some people see his death while diving on the Great Barrier Reef as an eventuality. I personally envy a man who lived 44 years doing what he loved, knowing that at any moment his work could kill him. Taking the fact that he leaves a wife and two kids without a husband and father, which is sad on every level, I admire everything about how he lived. Terri, Bindi and Bob must be crushed by his death, but one would imagine that they had all grown accustomed to the ever present risks of her work. In years to come I hope they emerge from their grief to feel very proud and inspired by his example of living life to its fullest, and doing so by doing what you love.