Beatrice H. ‘Bea’ Cooper

Beatrice H. ‘Bea’ Cooper

Beatrice H. ‘Bea’ Cooper of Grand Rapids (formerly of Otsego) passed away Sunday, August 7, 2011, following a long battle with vascular dementia. Bea was born on April 27, 1932 in South Haven to Howard and Elda (Holmes) Englesby.

Bea was a graduate of Paw Paw High School and attended Western Michigan University. She was a homemaker and for 28 years worked in the lingerie department at JC Penney in Kalamazoo. Bea loved numerous arts and crafts, gardening, family gatherings and especially spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her former husband of 24 years, Al Cooper; and her brother, Howard Engelsby.

Surviving are her daughters, Carol (Tom) Winkel of Grand Rapids and Karen (Rich) Harris of Plainwell; four grandchildren, Andy (Erin) Winkel and Stephanie (Scott) Ryan, all of Grand Rapids, Chelsea Harris of Kalamazoo and Cory Harris of Plainwell; five great-grandchildren, Brecken, Bennett and Brayden Winkel and Sydney and Tyler Ryan; her sister-in-law, Bonnie Englesby of Marion, NC; and a niece, Brenda (Burt) Gibbs of Marion, NC.

In keeping with her wishes cremation has taken place. Friends may meet with her family at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, from 6 to 8 P.M. Thursday, August 11, 2011 for a memorial gathering to celebrate Bea’s life.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to The Gilead Unit of Emerald Meadows Assisted Living, , 6117 Charlevoix Woods Ct., SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Jerry and Judy Shumaker says:

    We are so sorry for your loss.

  2. Janet and Steve Brown says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. We are praying for comfort for all of you as you go through this difficult time.

  3. Bart Rizzo & Sheila Schmidt says:

    We are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers during the time of sorrow. Our sincere sympathy to your entire family.

  4. Mary Panse says:

    Dear Carol & family,
    We offer you our most sincere thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Carol, you took such good care of your Mom over the last few years. You were with her every step of the way in her journey. Every parent should be so lucky to have had a loving and giving daughter, such as you. Thinking of you.
    Dean & Mary

  5. Janmarie Rossi RN-BC says:

    Please Read at memorial service tonight at 6:00pm

    I am unable to attend this memorial service for Bea, but I know she understands why.
    I have had the honor and priviledge to manage the care for Bea for last 4 years with this devastating disease. She has taught me so many things and from the minute I met her, we clicked. She coped with this loosing battle with extraordinary courage and bravery. Bea had a wonderful sense of humor and never lost her ability to tease, prank or induce the quirky sarcasim that she was gifted with. I feel very blessed to have her in my life, as well as, her family. Bea was incredibly creative, compassionate, and had a unique intuition about people. My biggest struggle in her care was trying to make others understand her. There were a few that fell in love with Bea as soon as they met her. My only hope now is that she knows how much we all loved her and will treasure our time together forever. I will miss Bea very much and will think about her often. She is making a lot of angels laugh now.
    I also want to commend and thank Bea’s daughter, Carol. Carol has devoted the last 4 years to making sure that Bea recieved the best care possible. Bea consumed her life and I know that all of it was appreciated. We have had our ups and downs throughout this battle and it took great soldiers to keep pulling Bea up again. Thank you Carol and Tom for all of the support you delivered in helping with Bea’s care. It is such a joy and relief to have families that are trully invested in caring for people inflicted with progressive dementia. The disease is so dynamic and requires constant flexibility and adjustments. Bea is very fortunate to have so many people who supported and loved her.
    We will miss you Bea and take everything you have taught us about ourselves and others with us until our journeys end.

  6. Penny Stoppelberg says:

    I worked with Bea at JCPenney. She was always a joy to be around. My prayers go out to her family, I know what your feeling. I lost my Father a liitle over a year go. I will miss you Bea.

  7. Kim Dorothy Blagg says:

    I was one of the many barefooted neighborhoods kids who played with Bea’s daughters, Carol and Karen, in their front yard on hot summer evenings gone by. She fascinated me with the many craft projects she made – and each was perfection. I will never forget her snickering laugh and her huge heart. My babies all grew up with afghans she crocheted and gave to them. She and my mother were dear friends until Mom’s death two years ago. I like to think they’re sharing a glass of wine, some gossip and watching Jeopardy as I write this. To Carol and Karen: I’ve never seen a woman who was more proud of her daughters and grandchildren. Hug each other and remember.

  8. Cindy Glaser Kuhno says:

    Dear Carol,
    We were best friends in grade school, and then we moved to Pa.

    I am so sorry to read of the pasiing of your Mom. I remember her]listening to Dean Martin and sun tanning!

    Fom what I read , it seems like you were there at every step of the way for your Mom–she was lucky to have such a daughter as you.

    Please contact me if you like


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