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Robert (Bob) Earl Cooper


Robert (Bob) Earl Cooper, 84, died September 20, 2013.

Born in Detroit, Michigan on November 29, 1928 to Beatrice (Grondin) and Earl Cooper.  Raised and educated in Detroit, Bob graduated from Detroit Cooley High School in 1947. 

Shortly after graduation from Cooley High School, Bob moved to Oxford, Michigan with his parents and sister and farmed with his father.  During that time, he began working at General Motors in Pontiac, Michigan as a drafting technician.  Eventually, he became a designer, then a design engineer with the Massey Ferguson Corporation in the 1960s.  In 1970, he was offered a position as a project engineer with the Eaton Corporation at their proving grounds in Marshall, Michigan where he worked for ten years.  In 1980, he took a position as an engineer with the Union Pump Company in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Bob retired from Union Pump in 1990.

Bob married Mildred Curtis on October 2, 1959.  Together, they have three children: Becky (Ken) Wright, David (Lisa) Cooper, and Robert (Jodi) Cooper, six amazing grandchildren: Zachary (Melanie), Karli, Duncan, Izzy, Morghan and Trevor; and one great grandchild on the way.

Bob loved things that could float or fly.  In his younger years, he built and sailed his own sailboat on Lake St. Clair.  In the 70s he sailed lightning class sailboats at Clark Lake Yacht Club on summer Sunday afternoons with his sons Robert and David as crew.  Not to be deterred when winter arrived, he built a DN class iceboat, which could be seen speeding across many of the area's frozen lakes during the winter months.  When his crew went off to college, he was drawn to the sky and fulfilled a lifelong desire to become a private pilot.  Bob loved everything about aviating and would jump at the chance to go flying.  He kept his Cessna at the Athens Airport (David's Field) where he could be found most evenings and weekends going up for a quick flight or telling tales with the local airport characters.  Bob also built and flew RC airplanes with his buddies for many years.  In addition, he could be found singing with the Battle Creek Barber Shoppers, playing golf, painting an occasional water color, woodworking in his shop, pheasant hunting with his sons on his farm in North Branch, Michigan or enjoying Grand Traverse Bay with his wife, Mildred, at their cottage in Northport, Michigan.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister Audrey (Schultz).

There will be a memorial service for family and friends to celebrate Bob's life at Schuler's Restaurant in Marshall, Michigan at 1:00pm on October 13, 2013.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Oaklawn Hospice, 122 High Street, Marshall, Michigan 49068.

Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Sept. 29, 2013
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