Sept. 15, 1924 — Jan. 18, 2022
Virginia Lewis Cooper passed peacefully at her home in Frederick, Maryland, after being placed briefly in the care of Hospice of Frederick County. She was surrounded by her husband of 74 years, family and friends.
Virginia was born and grew up in Valley Junction, Iowa, a small railroad stop that has grown to become West Des Moines. She was the only child of Elcaner and Jennie Chance Lewis. Her father owned and operated a neighborhood grocery. As a child she developed a commitment to deep friendships, a love of cats, and a passion for the English language and literature, especially the works of William Shakespeare. Upon graduating from Valley High School in 1942, she entered Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. While in her freshman year, she met John Cooper. They were married in 1947 upon his return from service in World War II. On graduating from Simpson, Virginia taught at Valley High, her alma mater. Son Jim arrived in 1949, and daughter Judie arrived in 1954.
As both Virginia and John pursued advanced education, the family moved around the country, living in Iowa, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and Maryland. Virginia earned a master’s degree in English from Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College (later Eastern Kentucky University), and upon returning to Iowa, she began teaching high school English, speech and drama at Valley High School. In 1963, the family moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, and she began a 27-year career with Montgomery County Public Schools. In 1989, she retired to Frederick, where she resided until her death. Throughout her life, she loved sports, following professional and college football, basketball and baseball — and especially women’s basketball.
She is survived by her husband, John; son, Jim (Cheryl); daughter, Judie; and granddaughter Kaylie. The family would like to express appreciation to her many friends and caregivers at Frederick County Home Health, Hospice of Frederick County and Visiting Angels. Donations in her name to Hospice of Frederick County are welcome.