Irene Milko Cooper – OBITUARY
Irene Milko Cooper was born in Munhall, PA in 1925. She grew up during the Depression in Detroit, Michigan and contracted polio when she was 9 years old. After a long stay in the hospital she made a miraculous recovery and six years later she left high school in the 11th grade to help in the war effort. She was a 'Rosie the Riveter' at Packard Motor Car Company making airplane parts on the assembly line. In 1947 Irene’s best friend coaxed her to go on a blind date with her husband’s friend, Jack. Irene finally agreed and two years later she and Jack Cooper were married. They went on to have four daughters. After moving to California in 1976 Irene went back to work. She was a receptionist at Apple Computers and remembers waving to Steve Jobs each morning. After Jack and Irene retired, they moved to Penn Valley, CA and soon began buying & selling antiques and collectables at garage and estate sales. Irene also enjoyed reading and writing. She wrote two books, ‘Self Portrait – a Book of Poetry’ and ‘Looking Back – A Memoir’. She also co-wrote a book with her husband called ‘How to Have a Money Making Garage Sale’. Irene enjoyed traveling with her husband. Together they visited 40 countries and went on 19 cruises. Irene also enjoyed doing Tai Chi and did it regularly up until a year before her passing. One of Irene’s favorite sayings was “Most People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” (attributed to Abraham Lincoln). Irene lived by this credo. Choosing happiness over sadness, choosing to live life to the fullest, Irene was a loving mother, devoted wife and an inspiration to many. A strong advocate for learning and the education system, Irene loved to watch shows on PBS. (In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to your local PBS station.) Irene’s brothers, Edward, Joe and Gene along with her parents, Joseph and Elizabeth preceded her in death. She is survived by her daughters, Debby, Lisa, Donna and Janine, her son-in-laws, Bruce and Harry, her step-grand-daughters Ariel and Vimala, her youngest brother Paul and his wife Mary Ann.