Shirley Mariana Cooper was born August 28, 1932 in the Bronx, New York to the late Doris and Octave Jensen. Shirley attended Walton High School in the Bronx and graduated with a Bachelor’s in psychology from North Carolina Central University. She received her Master’s Degree from Fordham University and did post graduate doctoral work at Adelphi University. She went on to be a C.S.W.-R Board Certified Diplomat and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist.
Shirley married Benjamin Cooper in 1954. As an Officer’s wife she traveled the world being stationed in Alaska, Germany and Hawaii amongst others.
She started Catholic Charities and led an interdisciplinary team in establishing the first state program for the mentally retarded in Anchorage, Alaska.
She loved contributing to the community in each place that they went. She even tap danced for the USO.
Shirley practiced social work as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist for Long Beach Memorial Mental Health Clinic and also had a bustling private practice while raising her two daughters for over 20 years.
One of her greatest passions was devoting time to philanthropic causes. She helped several young people get scholarships to continue their education and also took great pride in supporting youth scholarships to go to summer camp.
Shirley was an active member in the Hempstead Kiwanis Club and the Red Hat Society. She was a devoted leader of the local Girl Scout troop as well.
Shirley was a proud Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. , Theta Iota Omega Chapter and loved her sorority with all of heart.
She was passionate about so many things. Shirley loved to research and explore all sorts of ideas, and was an avid reader. She loved to solve complex computer problems and had every type of gadget you could think of. Shirley thoroughly enjoyed being on social media and had a guilty pleasure of following her favorite celebrities in pop culture.
She loved photography, gardening, cooking, arts and crafts, crocheting, needle point, painting, traveling and a good walk on the beach.
She also was an avid believer in spiritual development and had a very strong meditation practice.
Shirley loved the ballet, Alvin Ailey, classical music, the opera and Broadway.
On a personal note we are sure that Shirley will be most remembered for her infectious laugh, mischievous and irreverent sense of humor and love of high quality milk chocolate and Starbucks coffee.
Shirley absolutely adored animals and could always be found with one of her beloved Cairn Terriers by her side. She is now with all of them to include Frisco, Dutchin, Buddy, Mama and Cooper who recently crossed the rainbow bridge late last year.
Shirley was the wife to her beloved husband Lt Colonel Benjamin Cooper, and adored mother of daughters Mariana and Sheryl and son-in-law Kenneth and devoted Grandmother to Moana, Jelani and Kenneth.
She is further survived by her brother Renaldo and his wife Alicia, and loving nieces Malinda, Terrie, Adrienne and Alicia and her nephews Renaldo, Lyle, Michael and Winston and loving sister-In-laws Bernice, Marilyn, and Cassandra and Brother-in-law Winston.
7:30 pm Repass to follow at Mom's favorite place:
We have a seating area reserved under the name of Sheryl Middleton.
We will each be covering our own meals.
The Colony Diner
2019 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554
Phone: (516) 794-5159