Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kerry Michael Cooper

Mike, or Coop, as we called him at times, was one of my friends. It didn’t hurt that he was about the first of our class to have a car of his very own, a six-cylinder, green 1950 Chevrolet stick shift that he would try to drive fast, but had only limited success in the effort. I don’t recall any particular mischief we got into, but as much as we tore up Meadowbrook Drive and East Lancaster in that old Chevy, there must certainly have been some. We (Bob Dillard, Kendall McCook, Danny McCoy, Paul Tate, Paul Shields, Tom Koebernick, Larry Guthrie, Steve Means) always took up a collection for gas and usually came up with a couple of bucks, which, with gas at 25¢ per gallon was quite a bit of gas.

I guess I knew some years ago that Mike had passed away young, but hadn’t known any of the details. He was only 31 when he died in an April 1977 airplane crash near Wichita Falls and he had a son who also died young. Mike was a good kid who, for some tragic reason, didn’t get much of a ride out of life.

Mike was a little rotund, about 5’9”, had close cropped red hair, and had a bit of a temper. His manner was quiet and good humored.  His humor was sometimes caustic. He was a good athlete who played on the varsity baseball team for a couple of years, and was the starting catcher as a Senior. At Meadowbrook he was the center on the 9th grade Championship football team and played for a year on the EHHS "B" team before getting displaced by a couple of Handley boys....Jimmy Barnes, then Ray Avery.  He was also one of the Meadowbrook "originals" that attended Meadowbrook Elementary from the 1st grade in 1951-52.

After we left EHHS I didn’t see him again. I think he went to college in Missouri. We had some laughs—that’s him wearing the white ice cream man uniform and black hat in the Steve Helmricks piece elsewhere in this blog..

October 2013 update:  Mike's Mom passed away this month; her obit can be found online where a few more details about this fine family are told.

Vaya con dios, my friend

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