DOWN TO EARTH: Community champions Gerry and Nick Clatworthy have both been mourned by the Coast region.
DOWN TO EARTH: Community champions Gerry and Nick Clatworthy have both been mourned by the Coast region. Contributed

Touching tributes flow for much-loved Coast couple

A GIANT of real estate and a "cherished" community champion who died days apart have been mourned by the Sunshine Coast.

Last weeks hundreds gathered to pay tribute to Gerry Clatworthy, and a day later, her husband of 38 years Nick, also succumbed to illness.

It's understood he hung on to farewell the love of his life who died aged 69. He was 68.

From Maroochydore Rugby Union and Surf Life Saving circles, Meals on Wheels, to Kawana Estates - now Stockland - their reach was vast and telling.

Loved ones talk about the pair as "down to earth", kind and influential people.

Their eldest son Sam said he couldn't have asked for better parents.

"Dad was my best mate, to my brother Mark as well. He only spoke when he needed to. He was a very wise man, a little cheeky at times too," Mr Clatworthy said.

"Mum was very outspoken, and huge on female advocacy before the whole movement started.

"They loved each other dearly, and plenty of people have told me recently how well they treated our friends.


Nick and Gerry Clatworthy.
Nick and Gerry Clatworthy. Contributed

"Mum loved kids and right up until her death she would go out of her way to ask children how they were. She was very strong person who never once gave in to her illness.

"They actually met in LA, Dad was working in a bar and was throwing a cat out the front door as mum walked in. The rest was history."

Lifelong agent Neil Campbell, who worked with Mr Clatworthy for many years, first came across him in the 1970s backpacking in California.

In those days, The Golden State was a hub for Aussies, with cricket matches, beach volleyball or bar sessions the norm.

Work wise, Mr Campbell said he had the rare ability to turn from highly professional to a laidback social man.

"It wouldn't matter if it was management or the gardener, he could mix with anyone," Mr Campbell said.

"If he needed to be tough he would but then so kind and gentle.

"We'd go down to Maroochydore for a swim and a run almost every morning. He was a boss, but also one of the boys. That was rare.

"What ever he'd ask of people, he'd always be willing to do it himself. Everyone had a huge amount of respect for him."

Property developer Geoff Glanville worked with him in the late 90s and recalled with fondness of that distinct red beard.

"He was very good at his job, maybe I should have listened to him," he joked.

"He was a lovely bloke, such a well-natured and caring character."


Coast community champions Gerry and Nick Clatworthy have been mourned across the region. Them on their wedding day.
Nick and Gerry Clatworthy on their wedding day in 1981. Contributed

Maroochydore Surf Club life member governor Ralph Devlin paid tribute to Gerry at her memorial in a speech that had the audience giggling.

"In 1980 we had the most gracious, generous woman join our club and her impact was immediate," Mr Devlin said.

"This is a time when men populated the organisation, women weren't necessarily welcome.

"The president of Surf Lifesaving was subject to Gerry's unrelenting nature and she started the movement to include women.

"She, and Nick, were both very dear to our hearts."

On March 22, the community will celebrate Mr Clatworthy's life at the Maroochydore Surf Club. Friends and family can pay their respects and join in rowing out to spread his ashes.

It starts at 4pm.