Leona Georgia (Schroeder) Cooper, 92, a resident of Fergus Falls, passed away on Monday, February 20, 2012, at the Broen Memorial Home in Fergus Falls. Leona was born April 19, 1919, to George and Ruth (Atkinson) Schroeder on the family farm north of Fergus Falls, MN. She spent her childhood on the family farm learning from her father how a family farm operates. He taught her gardening prowess. Leona attended country school through 8th grade. She was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls.
Leona met Vernon Cecil Cooper at a barn dance in rural Fergus Falls. They married on June 6, 1941. While Vernon was stationed in Germany during WWII, Leona went to Wisconsin for a year, where she worked at a manufacturing company for a time. Following his discharge from the Army, the couple returned to Fergus Falls.
Vernon and Leona made their home on a few acres north of Fergus Falls. They cultivated these acres to provide for their family of three daughters. Vernon and Leona were known for their green thumbs with all kinds of vegetables, fruits and flowers. Leona took this love of flowers everywhere she lived.
Leona worked at Ben Franklin in Fergus Falls in the fabric department for 15 years. She was well known for her knowledge of fabrics and her kindness to customers. She met many people by serving them at Ben Franklin.
After retirement, Leona and Vernon became snowbirds. They spent their winters in McAllen, Texas, enjoying the warm weather and gathering with friends for meals, games and dances.
Leona was a generous and kind hearted Christian woman who was everyone’s grandma. Everyone felt warm and accepted in her presence. Her generosity spilled over into every aspect of her life. She crocheted hats for newborns at the local hospital, made quilted blankets for children in Mexico, gave of her time for her church, and she was recognized for her work for the local hospice chapter. Leona also was a charter member of the Y’s Folks at the Fergus Falls YMCA. All of this generosity of spirit made Leona a person everyone wanted to be around. She will be deeply missed by all.
Leona is survived by two daughters, Lorna Cooper (Michael Scott) of Chaska, MN, and Ruth (Tim) Bach of Grand Forks, ND; one son-in-law, John Kinnen, Fergus Falls; three grandchildren: Tom Kinnen, Valdez, AK, Suzette (Doug) Eppler, Kearney, NE, and Dan (Cara) Kinnen, Valerio, CA; three great-grandchildren, Jackson Kinnen, and Samantha and Alyssa Eppler; two sisters-in-law, Leona Schroeder and Jean Paler, both of Fergus Falls; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Vernon, in 1988; a daughter, Cynthia in 2007, and three brothers: an infant, John (1917), Lawrence (1988), and Donald (2010).
Memorials are preferred to Lakeland Hospice. Visitation: 5-7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home and resumes one hour prior to the service at the church. Service: 11 a.m. Saturday, February 25, 2012, at Faith Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls Clergy: Reverend Craig Palach Interment: Trinity-Faith Cemetery in Fergus Falls Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls is in charge of the arrangements.