Dale E. Cooper
1925 - 2014
With family around him, Dale Ennis Cooper died Sunday morning at home in Emmett.
He was 88. Born in a farmhouse near Olton, Texas, on November 29, 1925, Dale grew up during the Great Depression in the heart of the Dust Bowl, where he learned the values of hard work and saving.
Dale was a classic example of a self-made man. He lived a rags-to-riches life of the
American Dream. After graduating high school at age 17 in 1943, he left the Texas panhandle with 8 dollars in his pocket and never looked back. While working in the Houston ship yards he was drafted into the Army Air Corps where he trained as a tail-gunner on a B-24. During his training in Riverside, California, he married his high school sweetheart, Azalee Harrison.
Mumps kept him from accompanying his crew on their flight across the Pacific, where their plane mysteriously exploded. Dale was eventually shipped to Gowen Field in Boise where he was assigned to train with another flight crew. During earlier training Dale had figured out a way to get passes off base where he used his spare time to work for money to add to his savings. He continued the practice in Boise.
After the war Dale and Azalee moved back to Boise, where he had been offered a job selling cars at Campbell-Simpson Motors. The couple moved to Emmett in 1950 where Dale ran a Farmers Insurance Agency for the next 40 years. Ever the optimist, he invested in numerous rental properties, an apple orchard, new subdivisions and eventually a couple of shopping centers. Dale took pride in the maintenance of his shopping centers. If fact, until last year, he could be seen hoeing weeds and sweeping the parking lot at the Emmett Plaza. He never really retired.
Dale was active in community life in Emmett. As member and leader of the Lions Club for over 50 years, he supported the club's many community improvement projects. A firm believer in education, Dale was always willing to talk with people about the virtues of saving and investing. He was also a benefactor of the Emmett City Library.
Dale spent his later years growing his investments and educating and entertaining his grandkids. A loving and generous father and grandfather, he provided great opportunities for his family. He will be missed.
Dale is survived by his friend and former wife, Azalee Cooper; his daughter Judy Torgerson and her husband Ed of Boise; his brother Don Cooper of Houston, TX; and three grandchildren, Michael Torgerson of Boise, Jeffrey Torgerson of Portland, and Heidi Grad and her husband Alex of Boise.
The family would like to thank Dale's wonderful caregivers, the nurses from Heart 'n' Home Hospice, and Dr James Thomson for the support and love they provided for Dale through last seven months.
A memorial service will be held at the Potter Funeral Chapel in Emmett at 11:00 a.m.
Friday, July 25th. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Dale's name to the Emmett City Library or to a
Potter Funeral Chapel
228 East Main Street Emmett, ID 83617
Published in Idaho Statesman on July 23, 2014