Vardell “Sam” Cooper, a wood craftsman, died on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. He was 54.
He was born on Feb. 23, 1965 in Newark, New Jersey to the late Louise Cooper and Robert Soloman. He moved to Philadelphia where he continued his education and graduated from Bok Vocational High School.
In July of 1982 at the age of 16, he began working for the Navy Ships Systems Engineering Station’s (NAVSSES) student aid program in the mailroom. Cooper went on to become a master wood craftsman and locksmith. He served the country until 37 years.
He was a fixture on his job along with his brother, “Kenny,” during his career. He believed in hard work.
“He was always a kind, caring, loving, understanding and honest person,” his family said in a tribute.
“He was always more than willing to help others in their time of need.”
When he wasn’t working, Cooper enjoyed life to the fullest. He enjoyed collecting music, movies, football and enjoying time with his brothers and their families.
He took great pleasure participating in the annual Cooper/Fleming annual July barbecue in Philadelphia and the annual Memorial Day cookout in Virginia. He was known for his baby back ribs.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Preston and Frizzell “Fritz” Cooper.
In addition to his brother, he is survived by: his brothers and sisters-in-laws, Hurley (Doris) of Macon, Georgia, Cardell (Sandy) of Herndon, Virginia, Morris (Ileana) of Philadelphia, Shirley of Mechanicsville of Virginia, Clifton of Atlanta, Ga., Leon, of Columbus, Ohio, Kenneth of Philadelphia, Anthony of Montclair, New Jersey and David of San Diego, California; nephews and nieces, Preston Jr., Davita, Candice, Tiffane, Dana, Danielle, Imani, Douce, Lance and Clifton Jr.
Services were held Jan. 11 at Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, 6653-75 Chew Ave. He is buried in Ivy Hill Cemetery.