April 2, 1941 - Aug. 10, 2013
SEBRING, Fla. - Richard L. Cooper, 72, of Sebring, Fla., and formerly of Elkhart, Ind., passed away Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, surrounded by his loving family, at Elkhart Hospice House.
He was born April 2, 1941, in Danville, Ill., to Glenn F. and Ruby Marie (Sparks) Cooper.
He married the love of his life, Jen L. (Heist) Cooper, on July 14, 1973, in Elkhart.
She survives with their four children, Michelle Cooper and her husband Joseph Oliveira and Charles (Sandy) Cooper, both of Fort Myers, Chris (Leo) Taramasco of Sanford and Matt (Julie) Cooper of Cincinnati; and a sister, Marilyn Swisher of Danville. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and his special pet, Jacques.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his special mother-in-law, Jerry Heist; and a daughter, Julie A. Bliler, who passed away July 3, 2013.
He was a wonderful husband, father, "Poppy" and friend. Dick was loved by many and had a great sense of humor.
Dick attended Michigan State University and received his degree from Western Michigan University in 1964. He was a past master of Vandalia Masonic Lodge. He went on a mission trip to Kenya with First Christian Church of Fort Myers. He also went on mission trips to Monterrey and Cancun Mexico twice a year for eight years with Back2Back Ministries of Cincinnati.
He served as assistant director of purchasing for CTS Corp. in Elkhart. In 1975, Dick and Jen purchased Paradise Pools Inc., which they owned and operated until 2000, retiring to Naples. It was in Naples where he discovered his love of boating. Dick was an avid golfer. Over the years, he belonged to Elcona CC, Christiana Creek CC, Bent Oak CC and Four Lakes CC. In Florida, Royal Wood CC, Royal Palm CC and SunN'Lakes CC.
Friends and family may call from noon until the 2 p.m. service at Granger Community Church, Elkhart, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. Pastor Gene Troyer assisted by the Rev. Teri Schenk will officiate. A Celebration of Life will immediately follow services at the home of Dan and Wendy Matz.
The family wishes to thank the many doctors, nurses and staff on the sixth floor, Progressive Care North at Elkhart General Hospital. They would also like to thank everyone at Center for Hospice Care, Elkhart.
Memorials may be directed to Center for Hospice Care, 22579 Old U.S. 20 East, Elkhart, IN 46516 or Back2Back Ministries, P.O. Box 70, Mason, OH 45040.
Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral & Cremation Center, Elkhart is entrusted with arrangements.
Online condolences may be sent at www.stemmlawsonpeterson.com.