At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Edison Christian Foundation
1000 Edison Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Westend CRC Building Fund
1015 Westend Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Elizabeth “Betty” Cooper, a devoted mother, family caregiver and believer in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, died April 29, 2022. She was 99 and just five weeks shy of her 100th birthday.
Her life was centered on her family and her faith. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband, Harold R. Cooper. Betty and Harold were married in January 1946, a month after his discharge from the Army Air Corps following his service in the South Pacific during World War II. They had been friends since childhood and were married 59 years.
Betty was the daughter of Boudewyn and Pauline deSchipper and a life-long resident of Grand Rapids’ West Side. She attended Widdicomb and Harrison Park schools and was a graduate of Union High School. During World War II, she worked for Armour and Co.
She and Harold were founding members of Highland Hills Christian Reformed Church. In the early 1950’s, they spent evenings and weekends working with their friends to build the young congregation’s first sanctuary, a sturdy, one-story brick building that now serves as the fellowship hall of what is now Westend Christian Reformed Church. They were strong supporters of the church, serving in various volunteer capacities for the rest of their lives. They were also active in the Gideons.
The couple had three children, Dick, Bob and Mary and devoted their lives to the education and support of their children. They scrimped and saved to send their children through West Side Christian School and Central Christian High School. Betty served as a member of the West Side Christian School Mothers’ Club.
As a family, the Coopers spent their vacations camping in Michigan state parks and made long camping trips visiting parks and national monuments across America. Betty loved camping, golf, biking and walking. In later life, Betty and Harold continued to enjoy travel, including cruise to Alaska, cycling tours of the Netherlands and visits to other European countries.
Even after her world travels, she always felt that her favorite place on earth was anywhere along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. She loved even brief visits to Holland or Grand Haven just to get a good glimpse of the “Big Lake.” For several years, she and Harold kept a trailer and a boat in a private campground near Lake Macatawa not far from Holland State Park.
While Harold worked as a manager for Oliver Machinery/Products Company in various capacities, Betty was the consummate homemaker. Throughout her life, she readily served as a primary caregiver for ailing family members. She and Harold were long-time supporters and volunteers at the “Christian Rest Home” on the West Side, a life care facility that served many of their family members, including both of them.
Besides her husband, Betty was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Helene deSchipper. She is survived by her children, Dick (Patricia), Bob (Christine), and Mary Sullivan (George); seven grandchildren, four step grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and several step great-grandchildren.
Funeral and interment services were private.
Betty requested that memorial contributions be sent to the Westend Christian Reformed Church Building Fund and the Edison Christian Life Services.