September 29, 1924 - September 26, 2020
Resident of Danville, CA
Doris M Cooper always had a smile and she passed away peacefully on September 26, 2020, just 3 days before her 96th birthday. Born on September 29, 1924 to Nellie Taylor and Bertie Hawley in Birmingham, England, Doris was the middle child of 5 and she and her siblings had close knit relationships throughout their lives. (Doris was predeceased by 3 of her siblings: Connie, Ted & Kath).
Doris was always a beauty and at age 14, as the Queen of the local Annual Parade, she was required to dance the first waltz with the Mayor and this triggered her lifelong passion for ballroom dancing. At 15, she started to support the war effort by working in a munition's factory and, shortly before England entered World War II, she met the love of her life, Ernie Cooper, who was also a skilled ballroom dancer and a member of the elite "Red Beret" Paratrooper Regiment. Throughout the war, Doris' love of dancing continued and, despite Germany's night time bombing raids over Birmingham, she was a popular dance partner for many young British and American troops.
On September 2, 1944, Doris and Ernie were wed and their first child, Jan, arrived in 1950, followed by their second child, Ken, in 1958. Doris was a loving mother and wife and, even though she worked part-time in order to supplement the family income, she was always there to support her children. As they got older, Doris was able to work out of the home more and she enjoyed a very successful career with Lloyds Bank.
In 1974, Doris was very supportive when her daughter accepted a career opportunity to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Doris enjoyed many trips to California and by 1986, Doris had accumulated 4 handsome American grandsons (Ted, Steve, Dean and Joel). Back home, Doris continued to enjoy her ballroom and sequence dances while Ernie loved his fishing expeditions. Sadly, in 1994, Ernie had a heart attack during heart bypass surgery and he never recovered – he was 70 when he died. This was a very sad and difficult time for Doris.
In 1995, Doris's son, Ken received a job offer that he couldn't refuse in Indiana and so, with both her children living in the USA, Doris decided to relocate to Tamworth to be near her older sister, Connie, and her younger brother, Peter. She developed many new friends and her dance card was always full – she was very happy and her visits to the US, including Hawaii, became more frequent.
In 2006, Connie passed away and, shortly thereafter, Doris was diagnosed cerebral small vessel disease. She realized she could no longer live alone and, in 2008, she moved to Danville, California to live with her daughter and family. She really missed England's buses but she loved going to the dances at the local senior centers with her best friend, Wilma and her dance partner, Gene. Her disease progressed very slowly and Doris continued dancing until March 2020 when all the dances were closed - she missed her dancing terribly.
She is survived by her children (Jan and Ken), her son-in-law (Duane), her daughter-in-law (Carol), her grandsons (Ted, Steve, Dean and Joel) and their wives (Ann, Christina and Haleigh), her great grandchildren (Andrew, Ashley, Chris, Teddy and Stavi) and her brother (Peter) in England – she was loved and will be missed by many, including her caregivers and friends, Wilma and Jackie.
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