Poppop's Adventure Corner
Our humble Pop Pop, who sold shoes for a living, puttered in his garage, and had a smile and a kind word for everyone he encountered, would have been flabbergasted to get such a long and eloquent obituary in his hometown paper. But reporter Kate Linthicum recognized what the people who loved him already knew: Harry Cooper was a true American hero, and a model husband, father, grandfather and friend. We can all learn something from his example.
This is Kim, Barbara and Harry's eldest grandchild, with some sad news to share.
Our beloved Harry Cooper died peacefully just after midnight on October 22, 2010, aged 98. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Barbara, and by his grandchildren Harrison, Robin, Dylan, Morgan, Chinta, Spring and Kim.
He had been slowing down in recent months and sleeping a great deal, but even at the end he was still our sweet Harry. His last words were to tell a young woman who was looking after him on the night shift that she was a good nurse. When she checked on him a few minutes later, he had stopped breathing.
My grandma Barbara is a very strong woman, and although she misses her sweetheart very much, she is bearing up well and is coming to peace with her great loss.
The OGs' website has always been a place for Cutie's and Pop Pop's individual insights, as well as for the magical chemistry that they had together. It won't be the same without Pop Pop, but this is still their home on the web, and a place where Cutie can continue to shine. She is planning to stay busy, and hopes you'll stay tuned to her ongoing adventures, wherever they may take her.
We'd like to share with you a passage from Harry's funeral service, from Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad-gita, a philosophical book which he enjoyed discussing during the last year of his life. We hope that this will bring each of you some peace in the losses that all living things must endure, as it has brought peace to our family in our time of loss. We still feel Harry's kind spirit all around us, and thank you for making a place for him in your life, and for caring about him.
CHAPTER II - BHAGAVAD-GITA (translated by W.Q. Judge)
Some peoples' grandfathers like to talk about about what they did in the war, others tell fishing stories, or muse on their wild times when they were young. But when Chinta recently asked her Pop Pop to tell his favorite story, he touched her heart with his sincere, grateful and in-the-moment response.
When Harry Cooper was a very young man, his father signed enlistment papers so his son could join the Army and follow his dream. Ever since he'd heard the Hawaiian musicians playing on Atlantic City's Steel Pier, all Harry could think about was getting to the tropics. The Army sent him to Oahu, where he learned to play steel guitar, rescued a drowning soldier, soaked up the sunshine and saw no combat. He came back with some favorite songs that he shared with his soon-to-be-bride, and all these years later, they still love to sing them together. Let's listen in as they harmonize.
Now, they say there's nothing new under the sun, but all the same, we're pretty sure our PopPop is the only 97-year-old man who got checked out of the retirement home to spend last Saturday tooling around his old downtown LA haunts in the company of a 94-year-old burlesque queen.
Grandma came along to keep him honest, but she gave him a moment to say his private goodbyes to Follies legend Betty "Ball of Fire" Rowland. That's just one of Grandma's little secrets for keeping a marriage hot for 73-going-on-74 years. Watch and learn, grasshopper.