Celebration Of Life.

Curtis D. Cooper, a long time resident of Middleton Idaho, sadly passed away March 14, 2021. He was 85 years old. He  was much  loved and cherished by family and friends, and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. 

Curtis was born in 1935 in Boise Idaho. He was the third born of eight children, to James and Gertrude Cooper. He went to school in Boise, and at a young age owned his own shoe shine stand near his grandfather’s barber shop, his dad was also a barber.

After the war, when Curtis became a teenager, he worked with his dad doing various carpentry jobs, and projects. His dad moved the family up north where the two of them went into the logging business. Not long after that Curtis started working on cars, rebuilding a 1931 Chevrolet, that he turned into a beautiful automobile.

When he turned 18 he worked at the saw mill in Lewiston Idaho, and ran with a motorcycle club sporting a 1950’s era AJS. He became a life long motorcycle enthusiast; owning a Triumph, Harley, and Indian, among many others over the years. Motorcycling and hill climbing became a Cooper family past time, when he and his family lived in Boise. Soon those days were quickly absorbed by new ventures in house building, with his older brother.

Curtis loved rebuilding and restoring anything and everything that could be “put back” to its original condition. He always said, “If a man made it, than a man could fix it.” No machine of any kind that was around him ever ran subpar, as long as he had the health and strength to work on it.

While living and working in Lewiston, Idaho, a pretty girl from across the bridge in Clarkston, Washington, caught his attention and he soon found himself partnered for life with Karen “Ruth” Kauffman whom he married in 1956. Less than a year after their marriage the two of them survived a horrific motorcycle accident, that seemed to temper their resilience and love for one another, in a commitment that lasted 64 years. She was his camping, hunting, fishing, and riding partner for life.

They both came from large families, whom they were very close to. They decided to have a small family with a daughter and son they raised, whom both grew up to admire, and love them very much. The family lived in Boise, and Middleton Idaho. 

Curtis was proceeded in death by his parents, two brothers, and two sisters. His son Michael Cooper, and son-in-law David Barnes, both passed away in December of 2019, just a week apart from one another.

He is survived by his wife Karen Cooper, and his daughter Deana Barnes, both of  Lincolnton, North Carolina.

Curtis and Ruth moved to Lincolnton, (in July of 2016) to join three families of four, in North Carolina, that settled there ten years prior.

This is where they got to meet four great grand children, and welcome three more into the world. While being close to family was enjoyable, with good memories made in a community that was embracing and friendly- the last few years were also the most difficult for Curtis, in his struggle with COPD and cancer. 

He was a member of the Northwestern Sheet Metal Worker’s Union, Local 213 and later known as local 55. He worked along-side two generations of family members as Sheet Metal Mechanics, in the Treasure Valley. Who were all in the trade that he was proud to be a part of. Those who knew him would not hesitate to say that he was a master craftsman. If he couldn’t find a part or tool that he needed, he would fabricate one. He never broke his commitment to the Union. Remaining a loyal member of the brotherhood for 60 years.

He was a much loved part of a large family in Boise, Idaho. He never neglected to visit with the older folks on both sides of his family in Boise, when he lived there.

Curtis had many nieces and nephews. Six grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren, whom he had precious and endearing moments with, that was sadly interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, he did enjoy visits from his porch, as the little ones would be brought over to say hello, and entertain him with their cuteness from the drive way. 

Curtis was laid to rest Friday the 19th at 1:00 pm in a ceremony attended by four generations of loved ones, in North Carolina, who could be present with him, to say good bye. He will be forever remembered for his teasing humor, and story telling. 

See: Photo gallery

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