Arthur E. Cooper, 98

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FREEPORT — Arthur E. Cooper, 98, died April 15.

He was born Jan. 11, 1917, in Southington, Connecticut, the son of Arthur H. and Clara (Rockemer) Cooper. He graduated in 1935 from Weaver High School in Hartford, Connecticut, and in 1939 earned a degree from Farmington State Teachers College.

Soon after beginning work as a teacher, Cooper was drafted and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. While flying as bombardier and navigator of a B-17 Flying Fortress in August 1943, he was shot down over Europe and captured. He remained a prisoner-of-war until liberated in April 1945 from a prison camp in Moosburg, Germany.

After the war, Cooper enjoyed a distinguished career as an insurance agent for the Springfield and the St. Paul insurance companies. He was named the St. Paul New England field agent of the year in 1977.

On Sept. 22, 1946, he married Nora (Gerry) Cooper, to whom he was married for 56 years. 

After the death of his wife, and well into his mid-90s, Cooper served as an assistant and host at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, and was well-known by guests for his sense of humor and thoughtfulness. He was also known for his gentle disposition, his integrity and his great devotion to his family and many friends.

Cooper was a member of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Freeport. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated there on Tuesday.

He was predeceased by his wife; his daughter, Janet (Cooper) Campbell; and his grandson, Cooper Campbell.

He is survived by his daughter, Cheryl (Cooper) Costello and husband, Jack, of Wellesley, Massachusetts; his son, the Right Rev. Mark Cooper, of St. Anselm Abbey in Manchester, New Hampshire; his son-in law, Steven Campbell, of Portland; his grandsons, John Costello and wife, Julie (DeBaggis) Costello, and James Costello, all of Boston; and his great-grandson, Sean Costello, of Boston. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, the Most Rev. Joseph Gerry, of St. Anselm Abbey, and Arnold Hopkins, of Millinocket; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cooper Family Scholarship Fund at St. Anselm College, 100 St. Anselm Drive, Manchester, NH 03102.