Frank Edward Cooper, Sr., 89, of Mattapoisett, passed peacefully on Wednesday March 13, 2019 at Our Lady’s Haven Nursing Home in Fairhaven. Always a Marine, Frank hung tough in his final days so he could enjoy his family gathered around him as he got ready to join the love of his life, his wife of 66 years, Mary, who passed in 2017.
Born in Boston, May 26, 1929, Frank’s lifelong goal was to be a Marine. He reached that goal the moment he turned 17 and enlisted in the Marine Corps in the waning days of WWII. He also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars before retiring as a First Sergeant in 1968 after 22 years of service that included being a Senior Drill Instructor at Marine Recruit Depot Parris Island and Marine Recruiter for the New Bedford area. Many area Marines remember Frank well and gather each year on the Marine Corps birthday to celebrate their camaraderie and Marine Corps memories that started with Frank. Following his retirement from the Corps, Frank went to work for Ocean Spray where he held several titles simultaneously including Production Manager and Distribution Manager as he helped the company grow into a global brand. Much to his credit, at 50 years old, while working full time at Ocean Spray, Frank fulfilled another lifelong goal and enrolled in college at SMU in Dartmouth (now UMASS). Frank retired from Ocean Spray in 1993 after 25 years.
Frank enjoyed an active retirement with his wife, Mary, on trips to Europe, long cycling trips, attending many Broadway musicals, picnicking at PawSox games, and being surrounded at countless dinners by his many children and grandchildren when he would, without fail, remind them to eat all their dinner because it would “put hair on your chest”. Frank had many colorful expressions that his five sons and daughter had to be advised not to repeat, though without much success.
Frank is survived by his sons Frank E. Cooper, Jr. and his companion, Sue Brownell, of Mattapoisett, Timothy J. Cooper of Mattapoisett, Thomas M. Cooper, Sr. and his wife Tabitha Tripp-Cooper of Marion, Michael J. Cooper and his fiancé, Kim Faria, of New Bedford, and his daughter, Christine A. Cooper, of Mattapoisett. He leaves behind three grandchildren, Thomas M. Cooper, Jr. of Mattapoisett, Christopher Cooper of FL, and Bridgette Cooper and her fiancé Allen Ferreira of New Bedford. He also leaves two step-grandchildren, Jennifer Gill of Fairhaven and Robert Gill of New Hampshire. He was also great-grandfather to Lacey E. Cooper of Minot, North Dakota and step-great grandfather to Chandra Perez-Gill and Mischa Tomasia, both of Fairhaven and Owen Gill of New Hampshire. Frank was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Mary Ellen Cooper of Mattapoisett, his son Robert. G. Cooper of Tampa, FL, his grandson, Patrick J. Cooper of New Bedford, and his daughter-in-law, Linda E. Cooper of Marion.
His visiting hours will be held on Monday, March 18th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 19th, at 9:30 am at St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett. Burial will follow at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation, in Frank’s name, to Our Lady’s Haven Nursing Home, 71 Center St., Fairhaven, MA 02719. Our Lady’s Haven and Beacon Hospice Care took wonderful care of our dad. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.