Margaret C. Cooper, organist and choir director

January 15, 2009|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

Margaret C. Cooper, a retired longtime church organist and choir director, died of congestive heart failure Monday at Caroline Nursing Home in Denton. She was 100.

Margaret Cross was born in Pleasantville, Pa., and spent her early years there until moving with her family to a Caroline County farm in Greensboro.

After graduating from high school, she earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1932 from American University.

She taught at the Greensboro School before marrying Gail Fitch Cooper in 1934.

Mr. Cooper, who owned Cooper Furniture Co. in Denton, died in 1980.

A longtime Denton resident, Mrs. Cooper had been the organist and choir director at the Methodist Brick Church in Denton.

After her children were grown, Mrs. Cooper began painting still lifes and landscapes. Some of her work is part of the permanent art collection at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills.

In 1993, she was presented the Governor's Salute to Excellence Award for her Best in Show winner at the Maryland, You are Beautiful Senior Citizens' Fine Arts Competition.

"Then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer named her a Cherished Ambassador of Goodwill for the State of Maryland," said her son, Phil Cooper of Baltimore.

Mrs. Cooper was also an accomplished concert pianist.

She was a longtime member of the Denton Woman's Club.

Her son said his mother attained centenarian status by not "smoking and enjoying an occasional bourbon and ginger ale."

Mrs. Cooper was a member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Denton, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Also surviving is a daughter, Susan Margaret Cooper of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren. She was predeceased by a son, James K. Cooper, who died in 1971; and a daughter, Barbara Cooper Cawley, who died in 2001.

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