Mary and Gerry Menke at the East Gippsland Business Awards in 2013. Photo: Supplied.The family of Mallacoota couple Mary and Gerry Menke say they are “relieved” that their loved ones will return home after being formally identified by MH17 forensic investigators.

The couple were returning home from a holiday in the south of France, where they were celebrating Gerry’s 70th birthday, when they were tragically killed along with 296 other passengers and crew after MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine last month.

“We wish to thank all those who have helped in this process,’’ the family said in a statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We look forward to receiving Mary and Gerry again soon in the place and the community they loved so much and which loved them.

“Once again we extend our deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.’’

The couple are survived by children Sara, Brett, Anna and Paul, and their five grandsons.

EARLIER COVERAGE:Generous, kind-hearted Mallacoota couple mourned

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