Obituary of Charles Cooper
Charles Vernon Cooper passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, July 29th, 2017. Vern, as he was known to family and friends, was born in Terra Bella, CA and spent most of his childhood in Merced, CA. While in high school, Vern met his wife of 67 years, Norma Lee (Arnold) Cooper. Vern spent the first few working years in real estate construction. When he contracted polio early in his career, he moved into construction management, then, eventually, into real estate development. After many years moving up and down California following construction jobs, he and Norma and their two daughters (Karen and Laurie) settled in Santa Rosa, CA. As a developer, he built thousands of homes in the Santa Rosa area leaving an indelible mark on his community. Vern never officially retired but did pass most of the day to day operations onto his grandson.
Vern was an avid golfer, traveler, and sportsman. He also was a private pilot and enjoyed flying for many years. Despite the effects of polio, he enjoyed horseback riding during his 30s and 40s as a member of the Sonoma County Trail Blazers. He also hunted and fished as often as possible, taking annual trips to the family cabin in Canada.
Vern is survived by his wife, Norma Lee (Arnold) Cooper; his daughter, Karen Sue Cooper; brother, Paul Cooper; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Cooper and Shirley Cooper; grandchildren Michael Thomsen, Brianna Scott, Erin Higham, and Matthew Higham, as well as 7 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Laurie Ann (Cooper) Thomsen; his brother, Elbert Cooper; and his parents, Elbert “Shorty” and Ann Cooper.
There will be a celebration of life held on Saturday, August 19th at 11:30am at The Villa Restaurant; 3901 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95405. Those who knew and loved Vern are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either: The Cooper Education Foundation; 4000 Montgomery Drive Ste F, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 or Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Foundation; 1154 Montgomery Drive Suite 1, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.