Final farewell to East End cabbie and war veteran Jerry

Jerry Cooper (centre) with his daughter Marilyn Ehren and son Ivor Cooper

Jerry Cooper (centre) with his daughter Marilyn Ehren and son Ivor Cooper - Credit: Archant

The family of a “dedicated” philanthropist, war veteran and cabbie have paid tribute to his life of helping others.

Jerry Cooper as a young cabbie

Jerry Cooper as a young cabbie - Credit: Archant

Joseph “Jerry” Cooper, of Roman Road, Bethnal Green, died on Wednesday last week aged 91 after a short battle with kidney failure.

The grandfather-of-two was a decorated Second World War veteran who, with the East Lancashire Regiment, served in France, Germany, Holland, Palestine and Egypt.

Jerry spent some of his early years at Norwood’s Jewish Orphanage with his brother Judah, and was a licensed London taxi driver for more than three decades until he retired.

With his wife Sadie, who died in 2009, Jerry volunteered for the London Taxi Drivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children and the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled.

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Leanne Ehren, Jerry’s granddaughter, said: “Jerry was a popular and well known cabbie in the East End and dedicated his life to helping those less fortunate than himself.

“He was always a great storyteller and would happily spend hours telling his war stories to anyone who would listen.

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“When he became a licensed cab driver he wanted to pay back to the community that had looked after him as a child and so became involved in the charity supporting underprivileged children.”

Jerry and Sadie, who often attended Stepney Jewish Community Centre, were married in the old Commercial Road Synagogue in 1947, the same year the Queen married Prince Philip. Jerry met the monarch twice at Buckingham Palace events over the years.

Before he was a cabbie Jerry worked in retail in Petticoat Lane and Brick Lane. Later in life he became a carer for his wife, who lost her sight, and was often seen pushing her wheelchair along Brick Lane’s cobbled streets.

Jerry leaves behind two children, Marilyn and Ivor, and two grandchildren, Kimberley and Leanne.

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