Tributes for

Cooper, Patricia Joy

PATRICIA JOY COOPER passed away August 9th, 2011 in Santa Maria, CA from complications of Alzheimer's disease. She was a longtime resident of San Bernardino, California where she lived for over 40 years. She was born December 18, 1942 in Saginaw, Michigan. She grew up in Prudenville, Michigan and attended Houghton Lake High where she played clarinet in the marching band. She enjoyed dancing and competed in 50's style dance contests. She met and married Charles Lapham who she moved to California with in 1961. She raised three girls and was a homemaker for nine years. She divorced and met Jerry Cooper. She had two more children, a boy and girl and was married to Jerry for 34 years until his death in 2006. Mrs. Cooper, or "Grandma Pat" as she was affectionately known by many young children, was an employee of the San Bernardino Unified School District for 25 years. She held many Teachers' Aide positions and helped in establishing special district-wide programs for many children. She worked at Arrowhead, Northpark, Newmark, Kendall, Del Rosa and Lincoln Elementary schools to name a few. She enjoyed her work at the schools and was greeted for many years in public, even after her retirement, with "Hello, Mrs. Cooper!" along with the usual smiles and hugs. She is survived by her five children and their spouses, daughters, Renee McMullen & husband, Mike of Chino Hills, Diane Lapham & husband, Ignacio De La Cruz of Santa Maria, Teri Thomas & husband, Todd of Highland, Sherry Levan & husband, Steve of Bloomsburg, PA; son, Jack Cooper & wife, Tracy of Lucas, KS; twelve grandchildren: Grant, Sean, Arthur, Aaron, Angela, Taylor, Dylan, Michael, Patience, Conrad, Kayleigh, Justin; and two great-grandchildren, Gabriella and Kane. She is also survived by five of her seven siblings; Carl Geiger of Houghton Lake, MI, JoAnn Keehnel of Forks, WA, Dorothy Hammerschlag of Stockton, CA, Joyce Doutre of Flint, MI and Sherry Garrison of Jerseyville, IL. She is preceded in death by her husband, Jerry Cooper; her brother, Michael Geiger; and her sister, Nancy Stiver. According to her wishes, she will be laid to rest in Prudenville, Michigan (Denton Township Cemetery) nearby the final resting place of her parents - final arrangements are still pending. For those who knew her well, there is no doubt that she had a deep love for animals and creatures of all kinds. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley, 374 West Orange Show Road, San Bernardino, CA 92408. Phone: (909) 386-1400.