NEW BEDFORD, MASS. – Robert W. Cooper passed away on Nov. 19, 2022, at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts, after a short and unexpected illness. He is survived by his loving wife, Bonnie Mintz Cooper, with whom he shared 47 years of marriage, love and adventure.
Those who loved Bob knew him as a man with an open heart – filled with pure and unconditional love for his family. Bob approached life with levity and a sense of playfulness. He could be lovably spacey, yet he could also be relied upon for moments of incisive wisdom – about life, family or business.
After a chance meeting in Vermont nearly 50 years ago, Bob fell hard for Bonnie and immediately moved from the South to be with her in New England. They were inseparable. They had two sons, Ben and Sam, who they raised together in Barrington with love and a commitment to having fun. Ben’s two daughters, Edie and Sunny, were the object of Bob’s affection – manifested through their shared love of coin collecting, dancing and sweet treats.
Bob and Bonnie cultivated a loyal group of friends wherever they lived. First, in Barrington, where they traveled, dined and laughed over the course of decades with two couples, the Molvars and the Blooms. Then, in Padanaram, where Bob joined the New Bedford Yacht Club and the Wharf Rats, a group that instantly recognized him for his good humor and enduring curiosity.
As a transplant to New England, Bob cherished being on the water with family and friends. An avid sailor, swimmer, cyclist, world traveler and dedicated step-counter, he lived a full life, yet always made time for a signature Cooper nap.
For over 40 years, Bob managed the family business, Klear-Vu, a manufacturer of cushions, in Fall River, Massachusetts. He had a passion for the work, approaching it like a puzzle with his engineering background and his love of new ideas. His patented invention, the Gripper, replaced the cushion’s ties with a non-slip bottom, thus improving the company’s product and invigorating the company. He found much professional fulfillment working with a dedicated group of employees, including his father-in-law, brother-in-law and son.
He studied Civil Engineering and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama. He loved watching his alma mater’s football team, the Crimson Tide.
Born and raised in Auburn, Alabama, Bob grew up riding bikes, participating in Boy Scouts, and playing on the family farm with his siblings, Art, Mary and Don, with whom he remained close for his whole life. All four gathered their families every other year at Thanksgiving, bringing together family members from across the country.
Son to Arthur W. and Dorothy Summers Cooper, and survived by two sons, Benjamin Cooper and wife, Jackie Delamatre, and Samuel Cooper and partner, Nicole Najafi, two granddaughters, Edie and Sunny Cooper, three siblings, Arthur Cooper and wife, Julia Cooper, Mary Kitchen and husband, Robert Kitchen, and Donald Cooper and wife, Hyunchu Cooper, brother-in-law Mark Mintz, and many nieces, nephews and dear friends. They will hold him in their hearts forever.
Memorial contributions may be made to the United Way of Greater Fall River, 30 Bedford St., Fall River, MA 02720 or the Boys & Girls Club of Fall River, PO Box 5155, Fall River, MA 02723.