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Family pay tribute to remarkable father with a 'zest for life like no other'

PUBLISHED: 00:38 09 November 2019 | UPDATED: 00:38 09 November 2019

Hellesdon: Derek Cate Original at his favourite place, Norwich Airport.
Photo: Simon Finlay
Copy: 
For:EN News
EDP pics © 2009
(01603) 772434

Hellesdon: Derek Cate Original at his favourite place, Norwich Airport. Photo: Simon Finlay Copy: For:EN News EDP pics © 2009 (01603) 772434

Archant © 2009

The three children of an entertainer with a zest for life who helped care for more than 100 youngsters have paid a moving tribute to their remarkable father.

Derek Cate's coronation collection.
Photo: Bill SmithDerek Cate's coronation collection. Photo: Bill Smith

Derek Cate, 80, of Meadow Way, Hellesdon, "had a zest for life like no other" right up until he died suddenly at the end of last month.

The retired sales manager, moved to Norfolk in the 1960s after being stationed in the county with the RAF.

Together with his late wife Marjorie, who died in 2009 aged 69, they brought up three children of their own as well as helping to look after more than 100 youngsters over the years and fostering six or seven young people at their home.

Mr Cate also had a life-long association with the church and was closely associated with Meadow Way Chapel in Hellesdon which he helped to form.

Marjorie and Derek Cate wedding. PIC: Submitted.Marjorie and Derek Cate wedding. PIC: Submitted.

His daughter Andrea, 51, said: "Dad had a zest for life like no other I've known. He always saw the best in people and gave of himself even to strangers.

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"He was there for me through thick and thin, making me feel very special. He did so remarkably well, despite modern technology for 10 years after mum passed away and was the best Grandad anyone could ever have. I'm so proud of him - he lived his life well."

She added: "He would just go out of his way so much for so many people. He had a complete and utter zest for life and for people. It was all absorbing."

Marjorie Cate. PIC: Submitted.Marjorie Cate. PIC: Submitted.

Mr Cate, who had a love of tennis, Switzerland and music, together with his three children went around the region singing harmonies.

He also turned his hand to stand-up comedy, was an all round entertainer, and was treated to one of the last Concorde flights for his 60th birthday.

His sons have also paid their own tribute to Mr Cate.

Christopher, 49, said: "Nothing was ever too much trouble for Dad. If you needed something he'd get it for you and he'd be at your house within the hour with it whether you liked it or not. People were at the centre of his life and he loved nothing more than to share his enthusiasm for the things that lit up his life."

Derek Cate (third from right) with children Jonathan (left), Andrea and Christopher (far right). PIC: Submitted.Derek Cate (third from right) with children Jonathan (left), Andrea and Christopher (far right). PIC: Submitted.

Jonathan, 54, said: "Dad was incredibly loyal, specifically in relation to our choir. We could always count on him to be an appreciative audience member."

- A funeral service for Mr Cate will take place at Meadow Way Chapel, Hellesdon, on Thursday, November 21 at 3pm.

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