Friday, July 15, 2011

Glenn Riley Cooper

A beautiful soul has departed our world. Glenn Riley Cooper passed away in Minneapolis, Minn., on July 1. She drowned in an attempt to rescue her beloved dog, Pickit, who had jumped into the Mississippi River. Both were swept away by the flood-swollen current.

Glenn was born Oct. 29, 1991 in the Moritz Community Hospital in Sun Valley. She was raised in Ketchum and Hailey, attended the Pioneer Montessori School, Hemingway Elementary and the Wood River Middle School before relocating with her mother and brother to Boise where she finished high school a year early at Boise High.

Glenn will be remembered by friends and family for her abiding love of animals and her penchant for rescuing every animal in need. Her backyard became a barnyard for lost and abandoned creatures, from chickens, ducks and geese to dogs, cats and pet rats. She buried every animal that passed through her life in her ever-expanding backyard animal cemetery. In the end, she would lose her life in an intuitive response to a beloved animal companion in need of rescue.

Glenn will always be admired for her courageous sense of adventure and bold approach to life. Her energy and sense of humor were infectious and deeply genuine, leading many friends into capricious, intriguing, unscripted escapades they would have otherwise avoided. She was envied by friends for her honesty and directness, for being her own unique self in the face of teen peer pressures. While she considered herself a loner, friends were drawn into her orbit, and she was a role model for those who wished to be as genuine and forthright, as sure of themselves and their convictions, as she was.

Glenn's love of horses led to years of horsemanship and competitive riding. Her life was greatly enriched by the guidance and support of the staff of the Sagebrush Arena and Lucky 13 in Hailey and by all her childhood riding companions.

Glenn's creative talents were many and extraordinary. She concentrated on her art interests in high school and transformed all she touched magically into a work of art. Music became her primary form of expression, learning to play the guitar at age 14, seeking out the tutelage of a respected professional musician and absorbing all the teaching she could. She composed, sang and played guitar in a Boise Punk Rock band for several years before taking her musical talents on the road.

She was traveling by rail across America as an emerging blues musician and proud vagabond, exploring new musical genres when she died. Glenn's short life was full of creative and personal risks, but there was no suppressing her indomitable spirit and desire to expand her horizons.

Glenn is survived by her mother, Kelley Cooper; her father, Mark Bonesteele; her brother, Cameron Cooper; her grandmother, Glenn Janss; uncles Cameron and Brant Cooper; aunts Lea Candy and Christin Cooper; and cousins Challis and Nicholas Popkey and Carissa, Gerritt, Ross, Ryan and Kyle Cooper.

Contributions in Glenn's name may be made to the Glenn Cooper Memorial Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 1205 Broadway Ave, Boise, ID, 83706. Contributions will be disbursed to the Wood River and Boise animal shelters and the ASPCA.

A memorial service is planned for late August in the Wood River Valley. Date, time and place will be announced.

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