A grief-stricken man has died “of a broken heart” just a month after his fiancée passed away.
Stuart ‘Bear’ Cooper, 41, from Hinkley in Leicestershire had known his partner Kerry since school but they became an item three years ago.
Adam, 41, one of Bear’s best and longtime friends who he also met during their schooldays, told Leicestershire Live all his pals were struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
He said: “It was hard enough getting over Kerry, losing Bear is really quite hard.
"He was such a massive part and he’s had such an influence on our lives.
“I think we are all struggling to come to terms with it, it’s heartbreaking really."
The happy couple got engaged on Christmas Day last year and were busy planning for the big day when she passed away in July.
“It took him a long time to find the perfect partner. He clearly found his soul mate and he was really, really happy”, said Adam.
“He died of a broken heart.
“The only solace I can take is I like to think that he’s been reunited with Kerry. I’m just going to miss him. I spoke to him on a daily basis.”
Adam, who is known among their group of friends as ‘Wig’, first met Bear back in the early 90s when they were at secondary school.
He said: “My first memory of him was, we were playing football and we noticed this lad at the top of the field knocking a ball around by himself.
“We went and met him, that was how the friendship began.
“He was legendary, really the life and soul of the party. He had a fantastic sense of humour. He was probably the funniest person I have ever met.
“He was daft as a brush but he just had this way about him. He could just make people laugh, he had me in stitches so many times.”
Bear was dubbed with his ursine nickname after a funny incident during a holiday in Ibiza in 1999.
He was there with some friends and one day they saw him walking back with a load of bags and some six litre bottles of water, and they thought he looked like a bear as he lugged along."
The duo also shared a passion for curries with Bear happy to have a family naan all to himself.
They even had a Whatsapp group dedicated to their exploits at their favourite restaurants.
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