Ila Rose Cooper
December 12, 1926 – July 11, 2020
Ila Rose Cooper, passed away on July 11, 2020 at 93 years old.
Born on December 12,1926 in Boston and raised in Dorchester. Ila married Murray Cooper in 1946. Together they eventually moved to West Roxbury where they would raise their family and continue to live in the same home for 67 years. Ila & Murray just recently celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary. Ila often would proclaim that her handsome husband is the greatest man and love of her life to whom she continued to fall in love with repeatedly over 74 years.
Throughout her 93 years, Ila remained extremely active in her community, often using her time and voice to advocate for the equal rights of all, no matter their race, sex, or religion. Ila lived her life fighting passionately for change. Her loyalty & commitment to activism helped pave the way for many of those civil liberties that are in place today.
Ila was an extraordinary woman, willing to work side by side with both Democrats & Republicans equally, with only 1 goal in mind - change the world for the better where everyone could endure the same freedoms respectively and equally. Ila served as a past President of the Boston League of Woman Voters, and after 50 years as an active member, was granted her lifetime membership. Ila also served as Interim Executive Director of the Urban league. She participated in many marches in Washington D.C championing for women’s reproductive rights. Ila was one of the original founders of F.U.N.D. – “Funding for Urban Negro Development” and joined as Acting Director. This nonprofit was committed to raising and donating money to small black owned businesses and providing consultants to help with business startup, where her husband Murray was also a consultant. Ila was also acting director for the Boston Zoological society as well as President of the Women’s Auxiliary of Jewish War Veterans, just to name some of the many hats she wore over her lifetime.
Ila worked for the Commonwealth as Office Manager for the Division of Banks for many years until she later retired. Ila had a great appreciation for life and enjoyed traveling, bike riding, skiing, and golfing – most of which she started after retirement and often attributed these activities to keeping her young. She had many lifelong friends with whom she enjoyed countless vacations, such as the annual Memorial Day weekend trip to Martha’s Vineyard that initially started as a group of 6 people and continued to grow to over 60+ people that spanned 4 generations. A tradition that continues today.
Ila loved reading and enjoyed book club with her friends over the last 35 years. Ila loved spending time with her family. She had a smile that could light up a room and a contagious laugh that always spread to everyone around her. Ila was so loving and compassionate, she had an amazing ability of encouraging you to know how important you were and how much she loved you always.
Ila is survived by her husband Murray Cooper of Tewksbury, daughter Bonita Michaleas of Groveland, and son Reid Cooper & wife Tracey of Concord, CA, her grandchildren Lisa Tognarelli & husband Dean of Medford, Melissa Furtado & husband Jason of Haverhill, Jacqueline Cooper & husband Shaun Pasbrig of Henderson, NV, Nicole Cooper of Concord, CA, and 9 great-grandchildren, Ashley, Tyla, Hunter, Jason Jr., Jaelyn, Kolton, Annabelle, Emma, & Maverick. Ila was predeceased by her mother Sylvia Greenberg, father Morris Greenberg, brother Harold Greenberg, as well as her son-in-law George Michaleas.
The family has elected to schedule a memorial service at a later date for when all can be together and truly provide the celebration of life she deserves.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in her honor to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at ALZFDN.ORG or 866-232- 8484.