John Cooper, a former editor of the Lynn News, has died in hospital after a short illness. He was 94.
Mr Cooper held the post from 1972, when he succeeded Percy Greenfield, until his retirement in 1984, marking the end of a career in journalism which spanned 47 years.
Mike Last, who worked under him during a career with the Lynn News that spanned more than 40 years, said yesterday: “John Cooper was a gentle giant and will be missed by all who knew him.”
Paul Watson, who worked as his deputy for six years from 1978, said: “He was always very clear about what he wanted the Lynn News to be.
“He appointed the staff and let them get on with their jobs without being involved.
“John had confidence in his staff to do the detailed work and gave them his full support, while he looked after the big picture and made sure the targets were being met.”
Former Lynn News publishing director David Dixon, added: “He was a very good, old style editor and well regarded in the community.”
Mr Cooper began his career in Kettering in 1937 before serving in the RAF during the Second World War.
He took up his first editor’s role in Sudbury in 1954 and worked in similar posts in Wisbech and Peterborough before moving to Lynn.
His daughter, Cathie Fiddling, said: “He was so happy at the Lynn News and really enjoyed his time there.
“He enjoyed the fact that the Queen Mother would say ‘Hello, Mr Cooper, how are you’ and knew who he was.
“He was a great dad and grandad, very interested in family, Norfolk and wildlife. He loved his garden but he loved his work aswell.”
Mr Cooper, who had lived in West Winch until last spring, was taken ill shortly before Christmas and died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn on Saturday.
His funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church in West Winch, where he served as a warden, on Wednesday January 27 at 2.15pm.
Flowers are welcome and donations can be made to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust or to church funds.