Daughter's moving tribute for her "irreplaceable" parents who died on Egyptian holiday

The daughter of the Burnley couple, who died on holiday in Egypt in August, has paid tribute to her "irreplaceable" parents.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 1:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 4:58 pm
Kelly Ormerod is pictured on her wedding day with her proud parents, John and Susan Cooper, who died on their family holiday to Egypt in August.

Kelly Ormerod, who was the only child of John and Susan Cooper, said she was still trying to come to terms with the devastating loss of her parents who died within hours of each other while staying at the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

She said: "They were mine and my children's absolute world.

"They have been there for us all our lives and we did so much together as a family.

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Proud and doting grandad John Cooper with his grandchildren, Molly, Jessica and Jackson.

"My dad was my rock, my guide and the best dad anyone could wish for and my mum was my best friend and the person I spoke to everyday without fail."

Kelly said she had been overwhelmed by the hundreds of messages of support she had received from people who knew her mum and dad, who were popular and well known across East Lancashire.

Married in 1975, the couple met at the former Hop nightclub in Burnley where John worked as a doorman.

The son of a miner, John, who would have celebrated his 70th birthday this week, grew up in Ann Street, Burnley and attended St Mary's Primary and the former Towneley High schools.

Kelly with her treasured mum, Susan, who she described as her "best friend" and someone who she spoke to everyday without fail.

He also worked as a window cleaner before going into the building trade, launching his own business, Safe As Houses, which specialised in building properties and extensions.

A keen diver, John also enjoyed pot holing and clay pigeon shooting and he shot for the England team.

A freemason, he was a member of the Abbey lodge at Whalley. John hosted a clay pigeon shoot every year that had raised £40,000 for charity and fellow freemasons have vowed to continue to hold the event in his honour.

Known for his cheeky sense of humour Kelly said there was "never a dull moment" when he was around.

Known affectionately as "Cooperman" John doted on his grandchildren, Molly (13) 11-year-old Jessica and Jackson who is eight and he insisted they call him "JJ."

Kelly said: "He never saw himself as the old school grandad, he was too cool and hip for that.

"He had a very special bond with his grandchildren. They looked up to him, he was a wonderful father figure."

Nelson born Susan grew up in Barkerhouse Road and was a former pupil at Walverden Infants, St John's Primary and the former Mansfield High schools.

Susan, who was 63, had worked for Thomas Cook travel agents in Burnley town centre for many years but before that she worked for Holt's Shoes in Nelson, ATS Tyres and was the Estee Lauder representative in Debenhams, Blackburn. Kelly also worked alongside her mum for a while at the store.

Susan's father, Alan Gradwell, also owned a bookmakers and a butcher's stall on Nelson Market for many years.

Her brother, Stuart now runs the butcher's stall on Clitheroe Market.

Describing her mum as "one special lady who was beautiful inside and out" Kelly said she was adored by her grandchildren and was a friend and confidante for her granddaughters and "football buddy" for Jackson as she loved having a kick about with him in the garden.

Kelly said: "Mum was more reserved than dad but knew how to have a good time.

"At the drop of a hat she would be there for me. She was my gym buddy, my fashion icon, my best friend and a truly glamorous grandmother who loved her designer clothes."

Kelly said her parents always lived life to the full and if they wanted to do something they just did it.

The couple loved their holidays and one their favourite destinations was the Greek island of Lesvos where they met up with friends from all over the UK every year.

Kelly and her children are now planning to make that trip next year in honour of her parents.

Describing their relationship as "unique" Kelly, who lives in Worsthorne, said: "They truly loved one another, it was remarkable and the admiration I have for them is second to none.

"I cannot put into words how much I am going to miss them."

An inquest on the couple is due to be held in Preston later this month.