ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved Father, John Cooper. He lived life fully for 92 years.
Born on May 11, 1928 and passed away on August 31, 2020.
We will remember him forever.
Please feel free to add stories or pictures you would like to share about John.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name can be made to either of the institutions below:

Symphony of the Potomac: www.symphonypotomac.org/donate
OrchKids:  https://orchkids.org/support/

The Cooper Family
Posted by Marilyn Robboy on September 6, 2020
John was a true "Renaissance Man" in spirit and practice, with his gift and love for music, gardening, and inventing SO MUCH. My memories of John include his sincere interest in what we were up to and his ability to converse on just about anything.  Having moved to the "neighborhood" in his later years, we got to be a part of his 80th and 90th birthday celebrations. When we first got to spend time talking, in 2007, I was so impressed that he was still riding a bike and offered to accompany me on a bike path around High Falls. He was a part of every fun family get-together (in our new Maryland digs) of which we were part. John had a loving, kind, engaged and peaceful presence and is sorely missed. 
Posted by Anne Rosenbaum on September 5, 2020
I met John in 1965 when my family moved to the next street over from the Cooper home in Potomac. I was six years old, the same age as Gail. Gail and I went to different schools during our younger years, but attended the same high school and became very close at that time and have been close ever since. I remember hanging out at the Cooper kitchen table with the family enjoying snacks, conversations, and stories of growing up together. As we grew old enough, refreshments included cocktails with lively conversation, laughter, and music. Holidays often included an evening at their home or John, Gail, and Carl at my parents home. I was touched to see a picture of John at the piano with Gail and Carl at my parent's home in the photo memories of John. Those visits will always be a fabric of my holiday memories. We would exchange Christmas cards once I moved far away and I always felt honored that he would take time to send me a card. We enjoyed many long conversations over the years on special occasions such as Gail and Carl's wedding, their renewal of vows, get togethers around holidays. He made me feel at home as if I was one of his daughters and his genuine interest in my life as a friend of Gails was one of those rare relationships you feel lucky to have with someone who has watched you grow up. He will forever hold a special place in my heart and I feel very lucky to have been included in the closeness and hospitality of the Cooper family.
Posted by Marsha Meyer on September 5, 2020
Forever Young at heart I will remember our beloved John as kind, very smart, good sense of humor & dancer, excellent musician, prolific farmer, easy going conversationalist, warm gentleman, devoted spouse and loving father, fun cousin, and most remarkable human being. In my heart I will remember always being comfortable in his sweet presence, exemplifying a life well lived. Rest In Peace, Sweet cousin. Best love to You and The Gang.
Posted by Genevie H Urban on September 3, 2020
John and I worked together in the early 1950's at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST). He was an engineer on the SEAC, built at NBS and the first digitally programmable computer. I was a programmer. I remember John marching just outside the computer room when he lost a contest to see who could first complete the song "Dixie" or the National Anthem. John carried an American flag and said, "A sorry day for the Union."
I remember the beautiful music he played, and particularly a concert at U of MD. I remember his visits with Thea to my home on Saturday mornings.
I remember the gourmet dinners that four couples took turns cooking. John was an important part of my life for many years. Alas, we grow too soon old. Rest in peace, my friend. And my condolences to all his family. 
Posted by Leah Zabarenko on September 3, 2020
I'm sure everyone has their own pieces of John Cooper's life that they cherish. I, too, have a multitude, but the one that sticks with me now is how much he loved his wife. Even as a kid, I could see that her happiness was his happiness, which is love in its best form. He built an electric car for her. He learned sign language for her. He built a house for (and with) her. He hooked up a kiln for her. He made Manhattans for her and her mother. 
We can never know what goes into making a lasting marriage. Usually, the people in it don't even know. But Uncle John and Aunt Thea showed how love can help you last through the hard times, and celebrate the good times. For instance, a conception party! But that's another story :-) 
Posted by Karen Gereg on September 3, 2020
A Life Well Lived! I was so lucky to know Mr. Cooper. When my brother married Gail my family had the pleasure of getting to know this wonderful kind man. He always had a smile on his face when I saw him. He will be missed but forever in our thoughts. 
Posted by Zachary Doyle on September 3, 2020
My uncle John was a lot of very cool things: a particle physicist, an architect, a musician, a determined gardener, and a persuasive advocate for canning ones' own tomatoes - all on top of being a beloved father, husband, and uncle.

As my mother said, he was the closest thing to a grandfather I had. Honestly, I'm not sure what grandfathers are supposed to do or be, but I know John Cooper knocked that one out of the park, because he taught me how to take apart a computer.

He taught me - a six-year-old, and not a very patient one - to use a command line interface older than I was. He showed me that once upon a time, floppy disks actually were floppy. He taught me that all the flash and shimmer of high technology is just a spark we trapped inside a very particular rock and coerced to do math for us. When I had questions he couldn't answer offhand, he introduced me to the MS-DOS Programmer's Reference, a raw ingot of computer geekery that was almost too heavy for me to lift. I loved it.

In short, John Cooper taught me how to be a computer nerd, and he did it with aplomb. I am so grateful to have known him.
Posted by Carl Stahle on September 1, 2020
I first met John Cooper in early 2003 when I began dating Gail. I have an early memory of talking with him in Gail's kitchen at 8 Linda Lane in Severna Park about his professional work at the National Bureau of Standards and learning that he knew one of my Ph.D. thesis advisors at Stanford and the type of work I did. John was an accomplished theoretical and experimental physicist which I greatly respected. Through the years with Gail and John, we attended concerts and baseball games, went to the Shakespeare Theatre with Aunt Lucy, and joined in family events on both sides. I was amazed that John would read the entire play before the performance of the play. John embraced my large family and my sisters have commented how kind he was to them. He loved my Mom and Dad. In the last couple of years, John would ride the Brightview shuttle in his wheelchair to attend Mass with us and then sing along as Gail held the hymnal. I treasured the many gifts that John brought to me in the past 17 years. Of course, his best gift to me was his daughter.
Posted by Deborah Zabarenko on September 1, 2020
Uncle John Cooper has always been a fact of my life. We used to visit him and the whole Cooper family in Potomac, back when it was a little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village surrounded by horse farms. So many memories, but for starters, he was always the most genial host and a great judge and lover of wine and spirits. He was a liberated husband and father long before that became the norm, an enthusiastic musician, a man unafraid to go his own way but who would do almost anything for the people he loved. I was lucky enough to see him become an honorary grandfather to my son, Zach. I know I’ll think of him every day. 

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Marilyn Robboy on September 6, 2020
John was a true "Renaissance Man" in spirit and practice, with his gift and love for music, gardening, and inventing SO MUCH. My memories of John include his sincere interest in what we were up to and his ability to converse on just about anything.  Having moved to the "neighborhood" in his later years, we got to be a part of his 80th and 90th birthday celebrations. When we first got to spend time talking, in 2007, I was so impressed that he was still riding a bike and offered to accompany me on a bike path around High Falls. He was a part of every fun family get-together (in our new Maryland digs) of which we were part. John had a loving, kind, engaged and peaceful presence and is sorely missed. 
Posted by Anne Rosenbaum on September 5, 2020
I met John in 1965 when my family moved to the next street over from the Cooper home in Potomac. I was six years old, the same age as Gail. Gail and I went to different schools during our younger years, but attended the same high school and became very close at that time and have been close ever since. I remember hanging out at the Cooper kitchen table with the family enjoying snacks, conversations, and stories of growing up together. As we grew old enough, refreshments included cocktails with lively conversation, laughter, and music. Holidays often included an evening at their home or John, Gail, and Carl at my parents home. I was touched to see a picture of John at the piano with Gail and Carl at my parent's home in the photo memories of John. Those visits will always be a fabric of my holiday memories. We would exchange Christmas cards once I moved far away and I always felt honored that he would take time to send me a card. We enjoyed many long conversations over the years on special occasions such as Gail and Carl's wedding, their renewal of vows, get togethers around holidays. He made me feel at home as if I was one of his daughters and his genuine interest in my life as a friend of Gails was one of those rare relationships you feel lucky to have with someone who has watched you grow up. He will forever hold a special place in my heart and I feel very lucky to have been included in the closeness and hospitality of the Cooper family.
Posted by Marsha Meyer on September 5, 2020
Forever Young at heart I will remember our beloved John as kind, very smart, good sense of humor & dancer, excellent musician, prolific farmer, easy going conversationalist, warm gentleman, devoted spouse and loving father, fun cousin, and most remarkable human being. In my heart I will remember always being comfortable in his sweet presence, exemplifying a life well lived. Rest In Peace, Sweet cousin. Best love to You and The Gang.
Recent stories
Shared by Lou Vlasic on September 4, 2020
John Cooper was my Father-in-law..much more he was my friend. The story that I love to recall is..the first time I visited Claire at home I addressed him as Mr.Cooper..he turned arround and said "John".. I was wearing work clothes (Suit and Tie) the next morning wearing jeans and T-shirt..he said to me" I like you better this way". He had a way of making one comfortable. I miss John much more than words can exy.. I love John Cooper. Rest. In peace.



My Dad Taught me . . .

Shared by Gail Cooper on September 2, 2020
To swim
To ride a bike
To drive (too traumatic for my mother)
Not to curse - unless the situation really warranted it
To always look on the bright side
It's OK to have a beer with lunch
How to field a softball (couldn't hit worth a darn though)
To love and care for my family always

Hobnobbing with the geese!

Shared by Mary Amidjaya on September 2, 2020
When I was a young girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old, a highlight of my year would be visiting my Uncle John and Aunt Thea at their home in Potomac, MD with my family.  I guess you could describe Uncle John as the "cool uncle" in my childhood.

One particularly thrilling event was going to walk the canal near the Potomac River around Great Falls, which was perhaps 15 minutes or so from my Aunt and Uncle's house.  At that time it was a more rural area than it is today, and was frequented by loudly honking geese, who didn't seem to be at all afraid of people.  In fact, as a child, I felt a bit threatened by them.
Not Uncle John, though.  I don't know how he did it, but he somehow managed to sneak up behind one of the geese and grab it around it's middle.  The goose didn't know what hit it!  Then, most exciting of all, the goose stilled in his arms and all of us got to stroke the smooth white feathers.  Talk about making memories!  After that, I pretty much believed Uncle John could walk on water...or at least stay on top of the geese!