Sunflowers, tickles, silly hats and boundless love featured in a service to celebrate the lives of three WA children and their grandfather who died on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

There was laughter amid the tears yesterday as the Maslin and Norris families and their friends gathered at Scotch College to remember Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis, 8, who had been travelling from Amsterdam with their grandfather, Nick Norris, when their plane was shot down over Ukraine on July 17.

Otis, Mo and Evie Maslin

On each seat was a packet of sunflower seeds bearing a picture of the three children pulling faces, because sunflowers always made them smile.

Scotch head of middle school Richard Ledger told the crowd of more than 1000 packed into the private service their role was to laugh and give parents Anthony "Mas" Maslin and Marite Norris the courage to do what they needed to do for their three "beautiful and much-loved children".

"Today is very much a love story," he said.

Ms Norris listed some of the many things her children had taught her, the joy they brought and her heartbreak at their loss.

Mr Maslin talked about the children in the present tense, because he said he was certain they were in the room.

"My relationship with our kids is about hugs, tickles, songs and music - lots of music," he said.

Mr Maslin said the beach played a huge part in their lives.

They were also "citizens of the world" who had lived in Hong Kong, Amsterdam and a remote community in the Maldives.

"This worldliness gives them qualities that are difficult to define," he said. "In some ways they have crammed more into their short lives than many people would experience in three life times."

Mr Maslin paid tribute to each child - cool but responsible Mo, strong and caring Evie and carefree, crazy Otis - and said he would choose his short time with them over any normal, long-lasting life. "Even ignoring my obvious bias, our three children are unblemished, innocent, perfect souls," he said.

Nick Norris' son Brack said he had been a family man to the core and the person Mr Maslin and Ms Norris turned to when they needed advice.

The West Australian

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