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Ron Cooper 1927-2012

Posted by SC Comments Off on Ron Cooper 1927-2012

Ron Cooper (left of placard) with Buddy Lucas at the right holding the placard.

Ron Cooper, a loyal and long-standing member of Piha Surf Life Saving Club, died at Taupaki Gables on 15 September 2012. Ron was born on 7 April 1927, grew up at Smale Street, Pt Chevalier, and went to Pasadena and Kowhai Schools. Father Don worked in the production of the Auckland Star and his mother Margaret was a Massicks.

Both the Massicks and Coopers bought land in Rayner Road and built baches side by side. The Coopers were introduced to the surf club by Rodger Curtice and Don Wright, the latter also being one of the Rayner Road crowd. Don Cooper was noted as one of the foremost exponents of the art of the surf ski and he passed those skills onto Ron who carried on the family tradition.

As a young man, Don got a job in a clothing company in Putaruru but would travel to Auckland to keep up his patrols for the surf club, rendezvous-ing with other club members at The Gluepot before the drive out to the beach.

In the surf club he was bestowed the name “Snooper Cooper” after the “Snooper Cooper, you’re a real neat guy” hit song of the 50s (really “Stupid Cupid, you’re a real mean guy” by Connie Francis). He was noted as a nifty dancer, someone with an eye for the ladies but who held off getting married until he fell for Judy, who he met in 1959 when she was 15 and he was 33. They married in 1962 and she turned 18 the next day! The couple had three children: Genelle, Neville and Glenn.

When he retired, the family moved to Taupaki and then a farmlet in Waimauku. He was always someone who like to fix things, and could be relied on to get a piece of machinery going, useful skills for the rural lifestyle. He was fully involved in the lives of his grandchildren and also helped other family friends as an adopted grandfather. Everyone liked Ron because he didn’t have a mean bone in his body.

Ron was made a Life Member of Piha SLSC in 1967 for his outstanding years of service. He was Gear Steward 1951-55 and  Club Captain 1957-61. A man who always enjoyed children, he founded and was first convenor of the Nippers (1950-55), now such a strong part of the club.

Ron was fully involved in all activities of the club and its building projects especially Project 60 which built the current clubhouse. He was close to many club members especially Don Cox who was best man at Ron’s wedding.

Thoughts go to Judy, Ron’s children and all the grandchildren.

Ron Cooper, at Piha SLSC, with Jessica, 1997

Ron’s dad, Don, at left, and Ron hard at work on the extension to the surf club in 1975

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