Kendal Residents Continue Adventurous Life

Coopers - ready to zipline!Fran and Roger Cooper live life to the fullest.  They may not think of themselves as adventurers, but they definitely have been for the past 61 years they have been married…and they are still going!

They are seasoned sailors and even helped a friend sail a 38 foot boat through the Panama Canal to the Pacific and up the coast. Fran said she thought of Spencer Tracy in “The Old Man and the Sea” during the trip. They had some challenging times during the voyage, but it was an adventure…one both Fran and Roger said they would not repeat.

The Coopers also love to fly, not United Airlines, but their own plane. Through the years, Roger owned a plane and a glider and they delighted at soaring through the clouds.  Several Oberlin College students from Japan had the time of their lives, as they were invited take to the skies with the Coopers.

Of course, the students are another story. When Fran and Roger arrived in Oberlin in 1966, he became Assistant Treasurer of Oberlin College. Fran organized the American Red Cross Gray Lady Program at Allen Hospital and also worked at the college as researcher, assistant to special appointed committees departments and with international students. And yes, they opened their home to international students, who lived with them for periods of time. Each student was given a key, as this was their home away from home. Fran and Roger nurtured them, assured their parents that they were fine, offered an ear when needed, and cared for and about every one of them.    And, over the years some former students returned to their second home.

Fran Cooper kissing the Blarney Stone

Fran Cooper prepares to kiss the Blarney Stone.

As you might guess, Fran and Roger continued their sailing and flying. They also found an exhilarating adventure called zip lining. They have done it in Costa Rica, Argentina and most recently in Guatemala in 2014 at ages 86 and 88. There a 1,970 foot walk on a vertical ascent of 230 feet took them to the top, where they zipped past a waterfall, a butterfly preserve, Rio dela Catarsia, and Lake Atitlan.

This spring took them to Ireland, where Fran climbed one hundred steps at Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. Roger decided to sit this one out!

The Coopers…lives with a giving spirit and a sense of adventure are lives well lived.

Story by Nancy Freed