Lena Cooper, 105, cook, housekeeper in Baltimore

April 14, 2002

Lena Cooper, a housekeeper and cook who was known for her crab cakes, potato salad and steakfish, died Thursday at Sinai Hospital. She was 105.

"I guess she was tired and her heart gave out," said her granddaughter, Barbara Brown of Baltimore. "She was well loved by her family, and will truly be missed."

Born March 3, 1897, Mrs. Cooper attended city public schools. She lived much of her adult life on North Fulton Avenue, and spent the past five years at the Villa of St. Michael Nursing and Retirement Center on Seton Drive.

For 40 years, she worked as a domestic for a family who lived off Cross Country Boulevard in Northwest Baltimore, retiring at age 72.

Besides her culinary talents, she was known for her beautiful embroidery, which she applied to sheets, towels and pillows.

She was married to Harrison Cooper, who worked at a Coca-Cola bottling plant and died in 1948. She had two sons, the late Edward William Ringgold and the late Randolf Howard Ringgold.

On the week of her 100th birthday, separate parties were thrown by the church, her family and by the Levindale Daycare Center in Pikesville.

She was a member of Metropolitan United Methodist Church, where services were held yesterday.

She is survived by seven grandchildren, including Mrs. Brown; 15 great-grandchildren; and 18 great-great-grandchildren.

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