Community grieving over loss of much loved woman
Family and friends have been devastated by the death of a woman who gave them so much of her own love and kindness.
Hawera's DeAnne Cooper died on Monday evening after being hit by a car in Ohangai Rd, south of Normanby.
The mother of three was out running at the time, something she did regularly.
Life-long friend Karen Martin said everybody had been shocked by what had happened and were struggling to come to terms with DeAnne's death.
"She was one of the extraordinary ones," Martin said.
Described as a loving, beautiful and intelligent woman, DeAnne's family meant as much to her as she did to them.
"They've all played a part in who she is," said Hayley Litt, another good friend of DeAnne's.
Since Monday's accident, the community has rallied around DeAnne's husband of 10 years, Adrian, and the couple's three children, who are aged 2, 4 and 8.
This includes not only family but a broad range of friends DeAnne had made and kept in contact with over the years.
"You had a friend for life in DeAnne," said Martin.
Born in Kaponga, DeAnne spent the majority of her life in South Taranaki.
She worked at the South Taranaki District Council for 10 years and more recently worked part-time at Kids Barn childcare centre in Hawera.
Council chief executive Craig Stevenson said about 60 staff attended an impromptu karakia for DeAnne yesterday morning after they heard the news about her death.
"One of DeAnne's great qualities was that she thought well of everybody and never had a cross word to say about anyone," Stevenson said.
Martin said DeAnne, who suffered the loss of her own mother in January following a long illness, will also be remembered for her strength and her selflessness.
"All of the time she put other people before herself," Martin said.
And although it was an emotional time for those coming to terms with DeAnne's death, Martin, Litt along with other close friends Joanne McLean and Alena Sturgeon, said they would all be there to offer support to those left behind.
"That's our job and our responsibility as her friend to do that," Litt said.
Taranaki Daily News