Elva M. Cooper
1932-Feb. 8, 2023
Elva M. Cooper passed away on February 8, 2023, at age 90. She was born in Inglewood, California and attended college at San Diego State and the National University of Mexico in Mexico City. And for close to 60 years she lived in Pleasanton with her husband Philip Cooper, raising their family, teaching, and contributing thousands of volunteer hours to her community. She is survived by her husband Philip Cooper (m. 1959), her children Ian Cooper of Orinda (Sari) and Monika Cooper of Walnut Creek (Ken), her grandchildren Zoë, Sofia and Jordan, sisters- and brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. Her parents and her sister, Joyce Crane, preceded her in death.
Elva went with no regrets – she often said she had checked off all of her bucket list items - but her family and friends miss her terribly. Elva was a fierce, independent woman who always stood up for the underdog. She was a lifelong educator who saw education as a way to bring opportunities to the disadvantaged. Through her tireless volunteer efforts she fought to provide supportive family crisis housing, food security for poor families, housing security in indigenous communities, and political representation for women, among many other causes. But her main focus was on her family – they always knew they had her love and support.
Fortunately, she also found time to indulge her passions – travel, good food, good wine, and good fashion – passions which she shared with Philip for nearly 70 years. Despite not having a lot of money, they travelled the world, with highlights that include living in Europe for more than 2 years as newlyweds; living in Mexico for 3 months; the pyramids in Egypt and Central America; the Great Wall; skiing (and hiking) the Alps; the Himalayas; snorkeling in the Caribbean, French Polynesia, and Indonesia; Cuba; Machu Picchu; and traveling in Europe at least 15 times and visiting Paris (her favorite city) more than 19 times! She also prided herself on her appearance and was always dressed to kill, although she would often confide that her designer clothes were thrifted.
Hers was a fantastic life – as Philip has said, better than they ever imagined it could be – and she (along with Philip) set an amazing example for those who follow. Enjoy the things and people that you love! Let them know that you love them! Help those less fortunate! Fight for what you believe in! Make the world a better place, like she did!