A fond farewell to well-known and popular Derek

Derek Hopper.
Derek Hopper.

A man who was heavily involved in north Northumberland life has died, aged 91.

Derek Hopper, from Alnwick, passed away peacefully on December 13.

He was born in Blyth in 1921 and after attending the Grammar School he became a clerk at Barclays Bank.

When the Second World War interrupted his career he enlisted in the RAF and became a navigator in the Pathfinder Squadron, spending most of the conflict in the Mediterranean area.

Derek earned a lifetime membership of the Caterpillar Club after parachuting out of an ailing aircraft over North Yorkshire. On leaving the RAF, he returned to the bank, working in Tyneside.

He married Olive in 1948 and they settled in Jesmond where their children Christine and David were born.

Derek became assistant bank manager in Berwick, before moving to Alnwick in 1966 as manager. He was known in the town, especially in the business and farming communities.

He was honorary treasurer for organisations including the swimming pool planning committee, the Working Men’s Club and, especially close to his heart, the RNLI at Boulmer Lifeboat and St Michael’s Church where he was a church warden.

He belonged to the Local History Society, Probus and the Rotary Club. He was president of the Rotary Club and in 2007 he was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship for outstanding service. He later became an Honoured Member.

Derek enjoyed gardening, history, reading and classical music. He loved walking his labrador, enjoying the countryside.

Olive died in 1993. Derek is survived by his children and grandchildren Michael, Emma, Harriet, Robyn, Marek and Amberlie.