Cheery Ken remembered as 'top gent' of Newton Poppleford
- Credit: Beverley Raw
A fond tribute has been paid to Newton Poppleford's 'top gent' Ken Cooper.
His daughter Beverley Raw has shared her memories of well-known Ken.
In 2000 Ken and Mary Cooper moved from Luton, Bedfordshire, to Newton Poppleford to join me, his daughter Beverley.
They quickly joined new village activities, continuing those already familiar to them, their favourite being the Whist club, meeting twice weekly. Ken liked nothing more than winning prizes as Top Gent, the pair of them were firm favourites there, making many good friends.
They settled at St Luke's Church, once again forming friendships, taking part in Church activities. In the old Church Hall there was a regular lunch club they enjoyed along with a spin-off which arranged fun coach outings to different parts of Devon incorporating cream teas or river trips.
From Exeter airport they flew to Malta twice a year, making many loyal friends, and to Menorca, for peaceful times together.
A keen gardener, his garden was a blaze of colour with dahlias and roses. He cut two lawns and his hedge. When the family descended from Yorkshire we would frequent La Rosetta, the Italian restaurant, then go to Beer and Seaton for fun and fish and chips on the beach.
He and I would share our Dawlish days, as father and daughter time. We went to the Warren, looked at the sea, lunched and chatted, then the main business was working the two pence amusements, winning what we could and laughing. The summer was never complete either, without a trip to the Red Arrows display he loved so much. We enjoyed Dawlish air display, too.
In the autumn, supporting the local Carnival, Ken was well known for sporting various fancy dress, from top hat and tails, to a clown's outfit or a brown peasant hat and causing great amusement.
Dad attended Parish meetings, interested in Parish and village affairs. His work and effort with the Royal British Legion led eventually to having representation from and a collection for them at his funeral.
Ken will be remembered by his cheery word for everyone, a listening ear and generous spirit. A great grandchild completed his family joy here. He was our life and soul, now forever missed, for the upright, loving family man he was.