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Longtime West Penn Power employee loved to travel

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Ethel Cooper loved working at West Penn Power Co., starting after graduation from Ramsay High School in 1939 and not leaving until retirement 47 years later. She worked for the company in Mt. Pleasant, Pittsburgh and Greensburg.

“She supervised a number of people” in her various roles with West Penn Power, said her niece, Elizabeth Kauffman of Arlington, Va.

Ms. Ethel M. Cooper, 97, of Mt. Pleasant died Friday, June 22, 2018, in Woodcrest Senior Living, Scottdale. She was residing in a room next to her younger brother, Glenn Cooper, who is Kauffman’s father.

Ms. Cooper was born Feb. 2, 1921, in Mt. Pleasant, the daughter of the late John Franklin and Jerusha Christner Cooper.

At Ramsay, in Mt. Pleasant, she was president of her class for all four years, Kauffman said.

“They must have thought highly of her. She had a way with people,” Kauffman said.

Ms. Cooper served as the chairwoman of her high school class reunions for many years. They even gathered for a 75th anniversary in 2014 as part of an all-Ramsay reunion.

She wanted to pursue an education beyond high school, but it was during the Depression and the family could not afford it, Kauffman said.

Ms. Cooper began working for West Penn Power collecting bills for the company in Mt. Pleasant. She was promoted to the Pittsburgh office as a supervisor before returning to Greensburg when the company moved its headquarters from Pittsburgh to Cabin Hill Drive in 1955.

While at West Penn Power, she would lead seminars in New York City for the Administrative Management Society, of which she was a member.

“She loved going to West Penn Power Retiree luncheons,” Kauffman said.

Ms. Cooper was a lifelong member and elder at Reunion Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant. She also taught Sunday school for many years, Kauffman said.

Retirement gave her the opportunity to do more volunteer work. She was a local history buff and particularly was interested in the region’s industrial history, schools and ethnic groups, Kauffman said. She was a member of the historical societies of Bullskin Township and Mt. Pleasant, as well as the Daughters of the American Revolution, through her maternal grandmother, Kauffman said.

Retirement also gave her the opportunity to travel, which she did visiting nieces and nephews across the country, Kauffman said. Ms. Cooper also visited Kauffman in Japan and India while Kauffman was stationed in those countries while working in public affairs for the State Department.

“She wanted to see the Taj Mahal, and she did,” Kauffman said.

In addition to her brother, Glenn Cooper, she is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Galone-Caruso Funeral Home, 204 Eagle St., Mt. Pleasant. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Reunion Presbyterian Church, 769 W. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, with her pastor, the Rev. Susan Washburn, officiating. Private interment will be in Mount Joy Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant.

Memorials can be made to Reunion Presbyterian Church, 769 W. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666, in memory of Ethel Cooper.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or [email protected].

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