OBITUARY

Robert E. Cooper

May 16, 1940January 19, 2021
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Robert E. Cooper, 80, passed away on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at his home in Laingsburg, Michigan. He was born May 16, 1940 in Lansing to the late Arthur and Helen (Dietz) Cooper. The joy of Bob's life was woodworking. He created beautiful heirlooms for his family and was especially active with the Sawdust Santas. The cedar chests, toy trains, rocking chairs, flag display cases, and countless other projects are treasured pieces for all who were blessed by his gifts.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Patricia Phelps; his parents; and his siblings, Joann, Mary, Arthur, Kenneth, and Charles.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 57 years, Judy (Kyes) Cooper; his children, Michael (Julie) Cooper and Terri (Paul) Holt; his grandchildren, Cameron, Eric (Cheyenne), Kristen, Abby (Dustin), Kelsey (Cody), Erin, Brittany (Phil), Jordan, Elizabeth (Jake), and Troy; his great-grandchildren, Lilianna, Noah, Julianna, Emma, Kinsley, Lochlyn, and two on the way; and his brother, Richard Cooper.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2021 from 12pm until 3pm and again from 6pm until 8pm at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Chapel, 1730 E. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing. Masks are required as well as social distancing, with a limit of 25 guests at one time. A private family burial will take place in the spring.

Memorial contributions may be made in Bob's honor to the Sawdust Santas, 7725 Laingsburg Road, Laingsburg, MI 48848.

  • DONATIONS

  • Sawdust Santas

Services

  • Memorial Visitation

    Saturday, January 30, 2021

  • Memorial Visitation

    Saturday, January 30, 2021

Memories

Robert E. Cooper

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Pete Eisinger

January 27, 2021

For those that knew Bob they know that he put his heart & soul and a tremendous amount of work into making Sawdust Santas succeed. His smile, heart and love was seen by every person that ever had the privilege of meeting him. It will not be the same without Bob, but we will be honored to continue the work that he loved. R.I.P. our forever Golden Elf!

Just a ton of great memories of working with Bob and getting to know both Bob & Judy as dear friends. However, those that are close to Bob will understand the following:

I always tell Sawdust Santas volunteers that all that is needed are a big heart and willing hands. In Bob's case he had the biggest heart and some of us know that he had the BIGGEST willing hands!

We often joked about his huge hands and how I just could never find disposable gloves that would fit them. I will miss that big heart, those big hands and that big, bright smile.

Sandra Ayriss

January 26, 2021

Our family, in particular my son Jacob, has many memories of Mr. Cooper while working and volunteering at Sawdust Santas. In particular, we will remember the joy and pride he took when creating all those toys that brought happiness to children of the area. He always had a smile to share with all of us. It was an honor to have known Mr. Cooper.

Eric Alchin

January 25, 2021

I was an engineer at Olds and worked with Bob for many years. He was one of the very best Fixture Repairmen that I ever worked with. I had the pleasure of answering many of his suggestions and making sure he got a fair payment. Most importantly to me, he was a good friend that I could bounce ideas off of and always get an honest answer. He kept recruiting me to help make toys. He will be greatly missed.

Lani Izdebski

January 23, 2021

I met Bob and Judy about 6 years ago. We played euchre with them at the American legion. Bob and Judy helped to teach me the game. Between the loving jokes, picking on grandpa Bob Byrnes, giving the best hugs, and always offering a listening ear or words of wisdom when needed.... Bob was a great man, friend, and euchre player. He will be greatly missed by both Dan and myself. All our love to the Cooper family and friends.
- The Izdebski’s

Christine Kintigh

January 22, 2021

I am Judy's cousin and I was part of their wedding way back when. Bob was always the happiest guy, kind, gentle, soft spoken and caring, oh and generous with garden fare and eggs. We lost a son-in-law in late 2017 and Bob made sure we came by to pick up a flag box he made for Eric who was in the military. I will keep praying for Judy and all that wonderful family, who are feeling the loss of a great man in their lives. I am so sorry for your loss.
Love, Christy 🙏💕🇺🇸

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