Ronald H. and Donna M. Cooper Family Fund
Ronald H. Cooper was the son of William and Ethel (Campbell) Cooper, lifelong residents of Isabella County. Born in a house on Broadway in Mt. Pleasant in 1918, he graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School, and attended Central Michigan University before going to work for the Dow Chemical Company. There he secured more than thirty patents related to cement/concrete chemistry and oil drilling casing technology. In 1944, Ronald was drafted into the U.S. Army and served during World War II. He ultimately made his home in Clare with Donna, his wife of 67 years, and their five children.
Ronald believed strongly in education and was very proud that all of his children earned college degrees: daughters Karla and Suellen graduated from nursing school, and sons Terry, James, and Joel graduated from Michigan State University. He loved seeing his oldest granddaughter, Marcie, continue the tradition of higher education by attending CMU.
Community was very important to Ronald. After retirement, he served two terms on the Grant Township Board. He was an active member of the Clare Congregational Church for more than 65 years, working tirelessly through the application process to recognize the building and its stained glass as historic through both state and national registries. An historian and avid reader, Ronald also helped to raise funds to redo the public library in Clare. He felt libraries were a critical resource for communities, often commenting on the importance of “learning where you came from in order to know where you’re going.”
Ronald loved baseball, gardening and feeding the birds. He particularly enjoyed walks through Mt. Pleasant parks, downtown Mt. Pleasant and CMU. Ronald valued education, community, history and the environment, and instilled their importance in his children and 19 grandchildren. Though he passed away in 2009, Ronald's efforts to impact community will continue through his family and through the Ronald H. and Donna M. Cooper Family Fund. This community impact fund honors him and allows for grant-making to meet a wide variety of needs, touching on so many of the causes Ronald cared about.