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COOPER, R. Gayleen “Gay”

December 19, 1932 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
November 30, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Gay, beloved wife of Alan John Stewart Cooper of Calgary, AB, passed away on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the age of 85 years.

Gay, had a very adventurous life. She was the youngest of a family of four children. She started her work life as a secretary in a police station in Winnipeg, MB, then embarked on life changing trip to London, England, where she met her future husband Alan Cooper. Alan and Gay married in Winnipeg then moved to Venezuela where Alan continued to work as a Geologist. They then moved to Calgary, AB, where they raised three children. Gay inspired her children and grandchildren with her educational pursuits, all after the age of 40. She completed university entrance and did one year in General Studies, then completed all the academic requirements of a nursing diploma. She then obtained a medical receptionist certificate. She worked as a receptionist in a doctor’s office for several years until she and Alan retired. Gay and Alan travelled extensively, visiting Hawaii, Scotland, Ireland, England, Eastern Europe, Mexico, Maritimes, Washington D.C., Boston, Florida and California. While raising her family, Gay enjoyed helping out with the Sunday School, knitting (including tiny Barbie outfits), sewing, as well as swimming, skiing and costal sailing with the family. She loved her two cats. She was never afraid to try new things. She read widely and in her later years, wrote humorous limericks for a variety of occasions. She also memorized and performed long, classic poems for her family (Robert Service, Ernest Thayer), challenging herself and keeping her mind sharp. Gay was always surprising us with her constant quest for knowledge. Her favourite magazine was Discovery Magazine. Gay and Alan were also active in the Unitarian Church of Calgary for many years.

Gay is survived by her children Neil and Colleen Cooper, Sandy Cooper, David Hill-Tout, and Patty Cooper, all of Calgary; grandchildren Derek and Jessica Cooper of Langley, B.C., Ryan Cooper, Lora and Ben Neufeld, Lindsay and Alex Hill-Tout, Jacqui, Carly, Michelle and Luke Martindale, Elysha Clapp and Colin Harris, all of Calgary; siblings Joan Morrison of Castlegar, B.C., as well as extended family members Vicky and John Stewart and their two children, Jaimie and Jordan of Calgary, Debbie and Grant McCullough and their two children Drew and Scott of Winnipeg, Stewart and Helen Cooper and their two children Max and Lauren of Cheshire, England, and Corey Morrison of Genelle, BC. Gay is also survived by her friends, Susan and Mohan Grewal of Calgary, Walter and Sines Kary of Calgary, Pat Krutzen of Saskatoon, and numerous friends from Calgary, including neighbours and staff at Rocky Ridge Retirement Community.

She is predeceased by Ken and Jean Cox of Winnipeg, MB.

As per Gay’s wishes, no Funeral Service will take place. We wish to thank all the staff at Foothills Hospital for their extended care of Gay. We also wish to thank the staff at Sarcee Care West and the Sarcee Hospice for their care of our whole family. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Gay Cooper, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. CALGARY, AB, T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Sandy and family….my condolences for all. My thoughts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. We have another angel in heaven!!

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  2. Neil,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Donna Neary

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  3. To Neil and Colleen and family. So sorry to hear of Gaye’s passing. I didn’t see her a lot but I always enjoyed visiting with her. My deepest condolences to you all.

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  4. Allen
    I have just spoken to Susan, after seeing Gay’s obituary, and heard of your sad times. So just had to write and express my sympathy to you and the family. We do seem to old age with unwonted speed don’t we? I hear you are using a walker – wonderful things. Pauline said hers gave her back her life. I keep one in the trunk all the time. Warmest wishes.

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  5. Sandy, I am not sure of your current phone number, but I wanted to express my sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. I know that you mentioned that you were very close to her. I’ll always remember how kind you were when my dear mother passed. I hope that you are surrounded by loved ones at this time.

    God Bless,

    Rose Curtis

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  6. Cheri Stanzeleit

    Dear Neil and Colleen,
    I read about your Mom’s passing in the Herald yesterday. I am so sorry.
    I do remember meeting both your parents on a few occasions. I recall saying hello to them at Vertigo Theatre. Your Mom was always so intensely proud of her children and grandchildren. You have been blessed to have her.
    Wishing you all strength, grace and peace.
    Cheri Stanzeleit

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  7. To Alan; Sheila and I wish to offer our sincere condolences to you and your family.
    from Fred and Sheila Rayer

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  8. I remember Gay with great respect and friendship. We spent many a day having coffee together while our children played nearby. She was a good friend who looked after my children at lunch time or after school when I started university. We lost touch which I regret. I’m delighted to read that she did go to university and followed her dreams.

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