Former Bromley Council leader dies at 85
PUBLISHED: 10:49 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 04 September 2018
A former Bromley Council leader has died at 85 following a short illness.
Francis (Frank) Cooke, formerly of Beckenham, died on August 10.
He represented Eden Park Ward on Beckenham council and later Bromley council for more than 30 years.
He was also deputy mayor of Bromley in 1985-1986, and leader of Bromley Council from 1996-1997.
In 2008, he was made an Honorary Alderman of Bromley.
His daughter Frances Coppola said: “I remember him always being in council meetings when I was growing up, but I know him as a father and as a person - he was the quirkiest individual.
“He loved nonsense poetry, he had a motorbike and he was also a bit of an amateur artist.
“Politics was his passion but he had other things he loved and above all he loved my mother.”
Frances described her father as “immensely outspoken”.
She added: “He had very strong opinions on things and he would happily argue about it.
“We could have a debate and an argument but in the end we were still friends - he was like that not just with his family but also at his work.
“He would argue with people and disagree but then be going out for a drink with them afterwards - I’ve also heard that from people he worked with.”
Frank retired from the council in 1998 and moved with his wife, Joy, to Minster-on-Sea, Isle of Sheppey, where he lived quietly until his death.
He leaves four children and eight grandchildren.
Frances said she will miss her father’s humour the most: “He was in a nursing home for the last few months of his life but he remained reluctant to ask for help and just kept going.
“He was always so funny and was always coming out with awful puns and terrible jokes and for me, it’s the laughs I will miss more than anything.”
His funeral will be held at St Henry and St Elizabeth RC Church, Sheerness, at 12 noon on September 6.
All are welcome. Family flowers only.
Donations in his memory will go towards Save the Elephants and the Alzheimer’s Society.