William V. Cooper
Obituary for William V. Cooper
If you were looking at the moonlight on the Bay with all its diamond-like reflections the other night you may have missed that one of the sparkles winked out. That was Bill.
He came into this world to the sound of the Halifax noon day gun one day in June 1956. He was born to mother Marlene Cooper and father William Fraser Cooper of Truro. Two years later along came sister Caroline Yvonne Cooper-Cole who now resides in St Catherine’s with husband Art, children Jennifer and Christopher and granddaughter Violet. A baby brother Steven Alexander was on the cards for a centennial project. He’s now living in Dartmouth with his wife Susan.
Bill started SCUBA diving at the tender age of 13 after it was found he needed glasses and couldn’t be an astronaut. By 16 he was teaching diving as well as playing saxophone in his spare time.
He attended Dalhousie University where he met his future wife Elizabeth (known as Buffy). They were married in September 1974.
In 1979 he went to Newfoundland for a 2 week vacation and ended up staying for 4 years. He took the plunge and started his own consulting company. He would spend the next 5 summers working in the Western Arctic in the Beaufort Sea and during the shoulder seasons on the East coast either on the Grand Banks or out around Sable Island. In his spare time he sang in the Senior Choir and the Men and Boys Choir of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, as well as playing in the CLB Avalon Battalion Band.
In late 1988 Buffy said there was a notice on the bulletin board at Dalhousie looking for Nursing Instructors in Central Queensland, Australia for their University based nursing program. He threw away the snow shovel and asked when we left. He found a job in the Physics Department doing research on earthquakes and teaching geology and geophysics.
He got to see a fair chunk of the bush installing and maintaining a seismic network that covered an area the size of the UK. He got to do a lot of diving on the Great Barrier Reef. When the contract with the University ended, all their belongings were placed into a container marked London, England. Buffy got a job teaching palliative care at a hospice in London while he stuck up his shingle again and soon had work with underwater fibre-optic cables. This took him from Norway to Japan with stops at most ports in between in either direction.
After 5 years it was decided to come home and they temporally settled in Bedford. The cable companies still were willing to pay for the longer flights. These took him to Alaska, Japan, the Persian Gulf, all over the Mediterranean.
In 2003 he got winded cleaning up after Hurricane Juan came through the back yard. It turned out to be lymphoma and 6.5 litres of fluid had collapsed his left lung. Once this was drained and the first round of chemotherapy was started he felt much better. He got back to work about a year later. While in remission his healthy stem cells were extracted and frozen. They were needed in 2006 when he relapsed and required a stem cell transplant. A year of recuperation got him back to work. Work at sea to him was never a chore but what he wanted to do.
He never gave up the desire to fly or the interest in old war planes. The photo with this obituary is him in the back of a North American P 51 D Mustang.
In 2014 he relapsed again but this time it took what little energy reserves he had left and in 2017 he was diagnosed with liver cancer. After 3 admissions to hospital there was no more active treatment. He spent his last days at home and in relative comfort aided by the VON, Home Care and Nova Scotia Palliative Care.
He leaves a large circle of relatives and friends in many corners of the world who will mourn his passing but find joy in having known him. He lived life on his terms and would encourage any who knew him to do the same.
Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday November 23, 2017 at the Cathedral of Church of All Saints, Tower Road, Halifax, NS. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mission to Seafarers P.O. Box 27114, Halifax, B3H 4M8.
Online condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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