He survived the Depression and a war, and went from errand boy to editor with the Library of Congress.
Carl Floyd Cooper was born in 1930 in Washington, D.C. He was the only child of Lula and Homer Cooper, a teacher who put himself through law school. Though times were tough, his father’s tenacity no doubt stood as testimony to young Carl.
Cooper went on to attend Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va. The Rev. Wayne Cummings of Johnson City, Tenn., was a former classmate. He said his friend invited him and another student home during a spring break vacation and showed them the sights of Washington. Over the years, Cummings and Cooper kept in touch.
“He was a person of strong faith,” recalled Cummings. “He was also a person of genuine, authentic Christian character. He had high values, and morality. I had great respect for him.”
Cooper enlisted in the Air Force after college and went to fight in the Korean War. When his mother fell ill, he served out his hitch stateside.
Eventually, Cooper landed an errand-runner job at the Library of Congress. Through a childhood friend, he also met a lady who would change his life.
According to his daughter, Missy DeLuca of Cumming, her father’s childhood chum Bob Whistler introduced him to Marcia Frost, a dietitian then working in Virginia. The two hit it off and, as DeLuca said, “The rest was history.”
“I had heard about him,” recalled Marcia Cooper, “and he was a very interesting man. We started dating.”
The two wed, and found a home in Alexandria, Va. For more than 40 years Cooper worked steadily at the Library of Congress, advanced to a stint with the library’s motor division and ultimately became an editor.
Carl Floyd Cooper of Gainesville died Nov. 23 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 82. A memorial service was held Tuesday at Byars Funeral Home, Cumming.
Missy DeLuca remembered her father as a “good father” who was “faithful” in providing for his family. She noted that he often got up before sunrise to battle the traffic in Washington.
In a presentation dedicated to her father, she cited the thousands of practices and games he attended on her behalf, and his attempts to cheer her up after a failed high school romance. Cooper, an avid reader, did his best to comfort his daughter with sonnets. Said DeLuca, “It is a sweet memory I have.”
Cooper retired from the Library of Congress in 1998. He and Marcia moved to Georgia to be closer to their daughter and her family, which includes husband Steve and three grandchildren. Cooper’s life after retirement was dedicated to family time, attending Gainesville’s New Hope United Methodist Church, and reading historical fiction.
While Alzheimer’s left its mark, DeLuca noted, “I know that my dad lived those last three years with dignity.”
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