Barbara J. Cooper, 79

Barbara Cooper b&w

Barbara Cooper

CEDAR PARK, TEXAS — Barbara J. Cooper, 79, former resident of Portland and mother of five, passed away in Cedar Park, Texas, on March 7, 2014, surrounded by family after battling Alzheimer's for the past several years.

A Pearl Harbor survivor of Portuguese decent, Ms. Cooper  was born on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in 1934,  to Rose (McNelly) and John Silva Jr.

In the 1941 attack, Ms. Cooper and her grandmother fled to a nearby bomb shelter as sirens wailed and the Japanese strafed the harbor and their Schofield Barracks' post.

The adopted daughter of a U.S. Army Officer, Major Bertram McNelly, Ms. Cooper was evacuated  shortly after the attack, sailing to the West Coast via troop transport ship with her mother, Rose, and sister, Carol, continuing across the country by rail to Maine, seeing snow for the first time in the early spring of 1942.

During and following the War, Ms. Cooper lived in various cities where her adoptive father was stationed, including Boston, San Francisco, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Bad Nauheim, Germany. She graduated in 1952 from Waynesville High School in Waynesville, Missouri.

In 1953, Ms. Cooper married first husband, Roy R. Rosin in Heber Springs, Arkansas, where the couple had five children together. In 1972, Ms. Cooper earned her L.P.N. from St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In 1973, Ms. Cooper returned to Maine as an L.P.N. for Central Maine General Hospital/Maine Medical Center in Lewiston before joining Floyd Ray Realty as a licensed residential broker later that decade.

In 1978, Ms. Cooper married former husband, Glen J. Cooper. In 1981, they cofounded Maine Business Brokers, operating the business out of their residence on Turner Street in Auburn. In 1992, the couple relocated to Wellstone Drive in Portland and moved the business to Commercial Street.

From 1992 to 2004, Ms. Cooper was an active parishioner at St. Pius X Church in Portland, also serving as an adult catechist.

Ms. Cooper was a longtime supporter of the Portland Stage Company.

Ms. Cooper relocated to Round Rock, Texas, in 2010, to be closer to family as her disease progressed.

In her later years, Ms. Cooper enjoyed following sports, especially professional basketball and tennis.

She is survived by her three daughters, Deborah J. Ripley and husband Ibra (Chip) of Denmark, Laura L. Clark and husband Jerome (Jay) of Charlotte, North Carolina, Lee Ann Cook and husband Stephen of San Antonio, Texas; two sons, James S. Rosin and partner Kat Hasselman of Nutley, New Jersey, and Christopher S. Rosin and wife Rosina, of Austin, Texas; six loving grandchildren, Anastasia Ripley of Denmark, Craig Taylor of Marysville, California, Graham and Addison Cook of San Antonio, Texas, Olivia and Philip Rosin of Austin, Texas; one loving great-grandchild, Audrey Taylor of Marysville, California; sister, Carol L. Bridges of Little Rock, Arkansas; and brother Michael J. McNelly of Tracys Landing, Maryland.

Ms. Cooper was preceded in death by sister, Mary Lee Hawley of Auburn, in 1989.

Services will be held Sunday, March 15, 2014, at 2 p.m., at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 42 Sweden Road, Bridgton, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Women's Initiative.

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