Builder was passionate about Gore

Gore man Fred Cooper.

A Gore man well known for helping others has died.
Fred Cooper died at home on Sunday in his 102nd year.
After growing up on a Knapdale farm near Gore, Mr Cooper became a builder on leaving school.
During World War 2 Mr Cooper achieved the rank of lance corporal, and spent most of his time in Italy in the NZEF 7th Field Company Royal Engineers.
In 1948 he started a building company, Jones and Cooper, with Alex Jones.
Five years later he married Helen (Nell) Carter, of Mandeville.
He built their first home and, on the morning of the wedding, removed the boxing from around the staircase so they could move in when they returned from their honeymoon.
The couple had four children.
Mrs Cooper died in 2015.
Mr Cooper received the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list.
Son Peter said family and friends were very important to his father.
‘‘He was always doing things for other people.’’
He involved in many organisations in Gore including the Gore and Districts memorial RSA and the Gore and Districts Senior Citizens Club.
‘‘He was passionate about Gore.’’
His father was a very self-reliant man who started from nothing several times in his working career, Mr Cooper said.
After he retired and Peter took over the building firm, Mr Cooper continued to visit the building yard every day.
‘‘He was very proud of his working life.’’
His father always had a project on the go.
‘‘He was never short of ideas and planning.’’
He was a keen gardener and often gave flowers and plants to people.
One of his projects was planting kowhai he grew from seed along the shore of Lake Te Anau.
A service to celebrate Mr Cooper’s life will be held in the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Traford St, Gore on Friday at 1.30pm.