Diana Cooper

Obituary of Diana M. Cooper

Diana Michele Cooper died at home on October 23rd, three weeks before her 80th birthday. She had suffered from a lingering illness for more than a year that her doctors had been unable to diagnose.

Diana was born in South Haven, Michigan. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963, with a B.A. in English Literature. She and her best friend, Don Cooper, were married for 59 years, until Don died on December 13, 2020. In the early years of their marriage, they lived in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Berkeley. They moved to Santa Cruz in 1970 and had lived in the same home since 1976. Diana retired from an administrative position with the Santa Cruz County Health Services in 1990. Following her retirement, Diana sold vintage collectibles at the downtown Santa Cruz Antique Faire and was a freelance copy editor.

An enthusiastic volunteer at a number of local organizations, Diana was a founding member of the Santa Cruz Chorale and sang with that group for many years, as well as the Cabrillo Chorus and others. She was a longtime, active member of the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning (OLLI) at UCSC, and belonged to several OLLI groups: Folk Singing, The New Yorker/Aptos discussion group, the Read It Again, Sam (world literature) group and the Evening Book Group.

Diana loved good literature and was an avid reader. She started reading at age 4 - read to by her mother and encouraged by her dear Aunt Winnie, a schoolteacher who introduced her to the library, got Diana her first library card, and brought her there every week. Reading was a great pleasure - and a solace to her during the last difficult months of her illness.

Diana was a regular theatregoer, and particularly enjoyed plays at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She also was an Anglophile, and loved going to plays in London and visiting friends in the English countryside. She said a few months ago that she would have loved to go to England once more, but felt it wasn't in the cards. Sadly, it wasn't. 

An intelligent conversationalist with a witty sense of humor, Diana was a kind and generous person - often visiting sick friends with a pot of her delicious homemade soup.

Diana is survived by her many friends, and her beloved rescue cat Little. She asked that donations in her memory be made to Doctors Without Borders.

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