Gary Lee "Coop" Cooper, 66, died Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012.
Funeral services are at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the Badger Lutheran Church in Badger with the Rev. Jim Biswell officiating. Burial is in the St. Peter's Lutheran Cemetery at rural Badger. Visitation is from 5-7- p.m. Tuesday at the Johnson-Henry Funeral Home in Arlington and preceding services in the church on Wednesday. A celebration of his life will be held at Siouxland Bar & Grill on Lake Poinsett following the services.
Gary was born March 11, 1946 in Shenandoah, Iowa. He graduated from high school there in 1964. Gary attended Northwest Missouri State Teachers College for one year after high school. He then began a successful lifelong career in business management and sales. He spent many years living in Grand Island, Neb., where was employed in sales and owned a variety of businesses ranging from steel building contracting to computer software installation. The best memories Gary had of Grand Island were that of becoming a father to Cory, Sara and Joel. He was their biggest supporter and fan.
He was a very proud and dedicated father and spent his weekends attending their basketball, softball and volleyball games. Gary was a very outgoing and busy guy - his interests and hobbies ranged from fishing, hunting, flying small aircraft , photography, kite flying, Nebraska football, reading and cooking.
Coop was the happiest when he was socializing and being with people - he was known for his endless supply of jokes and making people laugh.
He moved to Lake Poinsett in 1998 where he owned Arlington Beach Resort. He married Anne Schultz Cooper on Nov. 6, 1999 and lived at Lake Poinsett.
In 2000, they added the third member of their family - Bailey Jo Cooper, a yellow lab.
Anne and Gary shared not only a once in a lifetime love, but a passion for photography, sales, bartending and resort management. They sold ABR in 2003 and bought Siouxland Bar and Grill, in partnership with Gary's oldest son, Cory. In 2004, they opened their own portrait photography business, The Dakota Gallery, where Gary utilized his talents in graphic art, design and marketing .
Gary retired in 2009. He was diagnosed with cancer that same year.
His job at that time became to live and to fish. Gary excelled in and accomplished both of those things with the greatest of dignity, skill and grace.
Gary was an inspiration and a hero to everyone battling this horrific disease - he was the true epitome of hope, faith, love and courage.
Cancer did not beat Gary -it depleted him physically, but it did not manage to take away his hope. He is survived by his wife, Anne Cooper of Lake Poinsett; three children, Cory (Jenny) Cooper of Lake Norden, Sara Cooper DaCosta of Lincoln, Neb., and Joel (Heather) Cooper of Wichita Kan.; a grandson; a brother, Steve (Barb) Snook of Grand Island, Neb, three cousins; a very special lifelong friend, Rita Jenkins of Grand Junction, Iowa, his father and mother in law, Russell and Henrietta Schultz, Arlington, three sisters and brothers in law, Alison ( Steve) Gilbertson of Arlington, Alyssa (Tim) Koisti of Lake Poinsett and Autumn (Jeff) Simpson of Elk Mound, Wis., three nephew; four nieces and many amazing friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Joel Cooper, and his best childhood friend, Woody