A MEMORIAL service is being held to celebrate the life of a well-loved architect and artist who lost his fight against cancer at the age of 73.

Derek Hopper, who lived in Pickhill, near Thirsk, for 43 years, died in June a year to the day he was diagnosed with multiple inoperable brain tumours.

Before his retirement Mr Hopper, was a principal architect for North Yorkshire County Council for more than 30 years designing many of the schools in the area. Because of Covid restrictions, a small family funeral was held after his death.

Now his widow Glyn, a retired headteacher, is planning a memorial service at All Saints’ Church in Pickhill on October 2 at 2pm so friends and former colleagues can say their goodbyes.

"So many people wanted to pay their respects to Derek and remember him," said Mrs Hopper, his wife of 49 years. "He was well loved and I was so moved by their comments.

"Everyone remembered Derek as a talented, humble, gentle man. He would have been absolutely amazed by people’s reactions so I decided to hold this service to remember Derek as an architect, gardener and artist.”

An active member of Ripon Arts for many years, Mr Hopper was also the organiser of Sinderby Art Group. A sale of his paintings is being planned for October 30 to go towards the upkeep of All Saints Church, Pickhill.