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Malcolm E. Cooper

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BENNINGTON -- Malcolm E. Cooper, 94, died peacefully at the Village at Fillmore Pond in Bennington on Sunday, March 6, 2005, with family members at his side.

He was born in 1910 in Patterson, N.J., the seventh son of Sarah Blanchard and Everett Abbott Cooper (who saw Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train as a young boy).

Mr. Cooper attended Hackensack High School and then Lehigh University, where he was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity, graduating in 1933 with a degree in industrial engineering. For the next 10 years, Mr. Cooper worked on Wall Street at the Citibank Farmers Trust Company.

While in New York, he attended six years of night school at NYU, obtaining a law degree and admission to the New York bar. With World War II underway, Mr. Cooper enlisted in the Army, received his basic training at Yaphank Long Island, followed by Officers Candidate School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He was commissioned and assigned to the Chicago Ordinance Division as a member of the legal procurement department. Discharged as a captain in 1946, Mr. Cooper looked around the country for a fresh start. In 1949, he settled in Dorset and bought an interest in the fledgling woodworking business J.K. Adams Company, run by Josiah Knowles Adams. Ten years later, having helped triple the size of the business, Mr. Cooper bought full ownership of the company. The business was destroyed by fire in 1963, but rebuilt with the support and dedication of the employees and community, and he continued to run the business full time until, at age 85, he passed the reins to his son, Malcolm Jr. Mr. Cooper is credited with designing numerous popular gourmet wood products, including the first slanted knife block and the first wooden modular wine rack, still available nationwide at stores including Crate and Barrel and Williams Sonoma.

Mr. Cooper was a charter member of the Corn Exchange Society in Dorset and for many years acted as town agent. Malcolm loved the game of golf, which he played seriously and well for more than 75 years. He played many courses but preferred his beloved Dorset Field Club, where he often could be found evenings after work. He belonged to “the club” for 55 years and served as a member of the board of governors and as president for numerous years. During this period he was instrumental in bringing paddle tennis to Dorset. He loved his garden and his bees, his golf and his skis, and overall his friends and family.

Mr. Cooper was predeceased by his first wife, Marion Curtin from Pittsfield, Mass., his seven brothers, and a stepdaughter, Sara Hartmann. Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Emily Brudno; sons Malcolm Jr. and Thomas; stepchildren Barbara Morrow, Roger and Andrew Leeds; seven grandchildren, Malcolm Parkman, Ben Turner, Virginia Farrar and Nathaniel Malcolm Cooper, Paul Hartmann, Christopher and Andrew Morrow and Joanna Leeds; and two great-grandchildren, Eva and Hilary Morrow. A funeral service will be held Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Marble Church in Dorset.

In lieu of flowers, please send gifts to the Dorset Nursing Association or the Dorset Citizens for Responsible Growth, c/o Brewster Funeral Home, P.O. Box 885, Manchester VT 05255.

To send condolences to the family of Malcolm E. Cooper Sr., please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements are under the care of Brewster Funeral Service.
Published in Bennington Banner from Mar. 8 to Mar. 9, 2005
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