Phyllis Jean Cooper, 86

Phyllis Jean Cooper, 86, passed away Nov. 4, 2013, with her family by her side. Phyllis was born Aug. 27, 1927, in Chicago Heights to Robert Louis and Florence Alice (King) Swanson. She grew up in Crete, Ill., and loved living next door to her grandparents, John and Carrie (Merrill King) Klemme. Growing up, Phyllis studied piano and voice, was very involved in her church, and participated in many extracurricular activities at her high school.

After high school, she worked as a secretary at the University of Chicago and later moved to Bloomington to attend the College of Music at Illinois Wesleyan University. While rooming at the home of Robert Newton and Mavis Lillian (Schuler) Cooper, she met their son, Duane Herbert Cooper. The two married on Dec. 26, 1949.

They lived in Pasadena, Calif., where Duane attended the California Institute of Technology. In 1954, the couple moved to Champaign, Ill., when Duane began his career at the University of Illinois. Throughout the 1960s, Phyllis attended the UI as a part-time English major until she graduated in 1971. Phyllis and Duane loved spending time at their cottage on Glen Lake near Glen Arbor, Mich. Her interests included writing, politics, religion, travel, entertaining and all areas of the arts. Phyllis had a gift for making friends wherever she went.

Phyllis is survived by her daughters, Victoria (Gary) Gallup of Maple City, Mich., and Kathleen (Daniel) Pixler of West Bend. She is survived by her grandchildren, Martin Gallup, Kate Gallup, Andrew Pixler and Jessica Pixler. She is also survived by relatives in the Crete and Bloomington, Ill., areas.

Phyllis is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Florence Swanson, and her husband, Duane Cooper.

A memorial service followed by a reception was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1203 W. Green St., Urbana. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family requests a donation to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements were completed by the Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savory, Ill.