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Don Cooper, 69

“Whoopie” Don Cooper, of Stevens Point, passed on from this Earthly realm while under the compassionate care of Marshfield Medical Center’s palliative care staff on January 23, 2024, at the age of 69.

Don was born on December 6, 1954, in Big Spring, Texas, the son of the late Earl and Peg (née Glennon) Cooper.  He attended St. Stephen Elementary School and graduated from Pacelli High School in 1973.

While in high school, Don was a fairly feral child, being left at home alone for long periods of time. He would brag that during the summers, while his parents spent time at their cottage on Lake Emily, he would become the second-largest beer distributor in town. Don’s family were regaled with stories of his prowess as a wing-back and defensive back on the Pacelli football team, which he said were some of the best times of his life. At Pacelli, is also where he would meet the love of his life, Catherine “Cathy” Corosolla.

Following high school, Don attended the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, where he majored in recreation management so he didn’t have to study all that much.

Dating since their junior year in high school, Don and Cathy were married on May 28, 1977, at St. Stanislaus Church.

After graduating from college, Don began working full time at Cooper Oil, where he would spend 42 years delivering fuel oil and laughs to customers throughout central Wisconsin. Don loved interacting with his customers, especially farmers, elderly women, and anyone who had a candy jar in their house. Don especially enjoyed the last few years working with his nephews Bill and Mike and friends Buford, Jebediah, Pat, Chris, Deb, and Tom Don.

Since his junior year of high school, Don most enjoyed spending time with his sweetheart, Cathy. Their favorite activities included reading the Festival Foods flier, grocery shopping, and bragging about how much money they saved while grocery shopping. They also enjoyed dining out with friends, spending time with family out at Lake Emily, and watching “Jeopardy!”, British murder mysteries, Svengoolie, and awful sci-fi movies such as “Tremors.”

After retiring in January 2020, Don’s favorite activities included still helping out at work, visiting Joe and John at Northside BP for coffee and Little Debbie snacks, waving to friends and coworkers driving past the house, giving nicknames to strangers walking past the house, and waiting for the mailman. During the summers Don could be found gardening and catching chipmunks in his yard. Don was an occasional guest at Kuby’s Bar and Grill where he enjoyed conversing with Bill and his family and sharing a Point or 7-Up with friends during “Friendly Hour” with Jackie. Don also enjoyed grilling chicken, watching Gunsmoke, and reading second-rate fiction.

Don enjoyed making people feel special and kept his sense of humor even while ill, knowing his nurses and staff by name and taking every opportunity to crack jokes. Don loved making other people laugh, often at his own expense. Throughout his life, he found nothing funnier than his own flatulence. We should all experience such joy from the simple things in life.

Don leaves behind his wife of 46 years, Cathy, sons Dave (Caitlin Benbow) and Mark of Stevens Point, grandsons Rylan and Teagan, sister Pat, many nieces and nephews, and countless friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, brother James, and some close friends.

The family would like to thank Dr. Onitilo, the nurses, and the staff at Marshfield’s River Region Cancer Center for their excellent care of Don over the past 15 years. It is because of them we got to enjoy him for as long as we did. And to all the nurses, staff, and doctors at Marshfield Hospital who brought him joy during these last few months, we are forever grateful.

A celebration of life for Don will be held at a later date and will be announced on Don’s Facebook page. That’s right: the man who hunted and pecked his way to approximately nine words per minute had a Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, share a Point Special with friends, fry up some chicken gizzards, or enjoy a Milky Way Midnight in memoriam.