COOPER, The Rev. Dr. Robert Marsh
The Rev. Dr. Robert Marsh Cooper, son of Robert Howard Cooper and Mabel Claire Marsh Cooper, was born May 19, 1935 in Salisbury, North Carolina and passed into the greater life on February 17, 2014. He is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, James Lanier Cooper.
He attended the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and later Gerogia Tech where he became a member of Delta Tau Delta. He earned a Bachelor of Science in philosophy from Catawba College in NC, graduating cum laud; a Masters of Divinity from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University
, graduating magna cum laud; a Masters of Theology at Sewanee Divinity School at the University of the South; a Masters of Philosophy from Louisiana State University
; and a Doctor of Divinity from Vanderbilt.
He was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 1960 and served actively in the church for fifty years as parish priest, seminary professor, mentor, pastoral counselor and international speaker. While being no angel himself, he seemed to come down on the side of the angels. He despised injustice, spoke truth to power, and bore the consequences. He was an active participant in the civil rights movement; he helped orchestrate the passage of votes regularizing the ordination of women to the priesthood; and he was a forceful voice in favor of the recognition of gay rights and callings, both in civil and ecclesiastical settings. He has to his credit innumerable articles and essays published in journals, magazines, and books. He is also known as an accomplished and published poet. He was an entertaining conversationalist who often peppered his listeners with a charmingly wicked wit. The sweep of his knowledge and his gifts seemed to be without limit. And as the end came, he laid himself down day by day in Faith through Grace.
Along with many devoted friends and former students, he is survived by his wife, Ann Hedge-Carruthers, who will miss his love and touch and companionship. His is also survived by his children, Ashley Cooper, Reni Sakos and Eric Cooper and two step-daughters whom he counted as his own, Rebecca Doll and Bess Wynn. Ten grandchildren, Lauren, Katie, Griffin, Kendall, Grayson, Travis, Bryce, Melissa, Bailey, and Lizzie, and a beloved brother, Gary Edward Cooper also grieve his passing.
Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
A funeral service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 2701 Elm St., Little Rock, AR 72204; Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 310 W 17th St., Little Rock, AR 72206 or Arkansas Hospice, 14 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, AR 72116. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com