Cheryl Ella Workman Cooper

Biographical Sketch of Cheryl Cooper’s Life
By her children:

Cheryl Ella Workman Cooper was born on October 15, 1932 in Hurricane, Utah to Ivin Workman and Itha Scow Workman. Cheryl attended Hurricane Elementary and Hurricane High School where she excelled in Art and Drama. As a teenager she worked in Zion National Park. After graduation from High School Cheryl moved to Salt Lake City and got a job in the LDS Church Office, Records Department. She met Valjean Cooper that same year. Cheryl and Val were married on December 6, 1951 in the St. George Temple. They moved to Martinez, California and lived there the next 25 years. They have three children…one son and two daughters. Their youngest child, Michelle Ellen died at age 14 months. Cheryl was diagnosed as having Diabetes when the children were very young. Cheryl devoted her life to serving others. She touched the lives of all that knew her with influence for good. She had her priorities in proper order and did not overlook any facet of her life. She generously shared her talents in poetry and art, music appreciation and other interests. When her children were raised, Val and Cheryl decided to move to Hurricane. Here they built a home and were active in the church and community. Throughout her life she had many jobs in the church serving wherever she was called. For many years she was actively involved in The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She served as director of the Heritage Park Museum. It was Cheryl’s nature to become totally involved in anything she was asked to do. She truly bloomed where she was planted. Cheryl died on August 12, 1991 in St. George, Utah. She is survived by her husband Valjean, son Paul, daughter Valerie, mother Itha, sister Diane, and grandchildren: Elizabethe Michelle, Daniel Forest, Wendy Jean and Jessica Marie. Love always, Valjean Cooper Jeffery Paul Cooper and family Valerie Ann Cooper Michelle Ellen Cooper (deceased 1956)

Published and Printed August 1993 in Provo, Utah. Copyright 1993 by Jeffery Paul Cooper. All works are by Cheryl Ella Workman Cooper unless otherwise noted.

I have listed her poetry  in a Table of Contents.   Click Here  for the Table of Contents. 

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Cheryl Cooper’s Desires to Write

Why are things so seldom ever really like they seem to be, Others write and they publish, why, oh why, can’t it be me? There are stories and some poems that live unborn within my mind. How I’d like to see them printed, even if they were unsigned. It’s not fame and fortune, all these useless words I write, If they’d go from head to paper, I’m sure I’d sleep better at night. There are words and there are phrases tumbling round inside my head. I hear poems and stories begging, write me down so I’ll be read. So I sit down with a notebook and take my pen in hand, And then vainly try to write them, All my heroes seem so common place; my ladies seem bold. The “new” stories I’ve come up with seem to have already been told. And that “sparkling conversation” I’ve composed within my thoughts. All those bright and witty phrases now seem as used up as my plots. It’s hard to get all rested when I go to bed Accompanied by unwritten stories that whirl on in my head. 

Cheryl’s Trip To Detroit In 1975

From the window of a DC-10, 45,000 feet in the air I could see dark city shadows, flattened mountains, colors everywhere! Swift blurred impressions of pictures, panoramas unfolding below, Ever moving on past us, hurrying so fast, We stood still, the earth turned, you know. Then a whipped cream ocean engulfed us and clouds wrapped soft turbulence around, The hours sped on ever swiftly and soon I was back on the ground. A few hours of getting adjusted, time difference, they call it “jet lag.” I unpacked, but I never will know now how I’d got all that stuff in two bags. We chatted and laughed and we visited, My friend her cat and I, then home came her man, He’d fixed up a travel plan, we’d talked until our throats were dry. We planned how we women would travel on Eastward Till we came to the ocean Atlantic. I’d been away from the water so long now, For it’s sights, smells and sounds I was frantic! On the map it didn’t look too far. Eight hours looked about right, So in the little red Pinto we headed out the Ohio turnpike. Past Cleveland and onto Pennsylvania, Then into New Jersey we’d later come. There are no road signs, nowhere to direct you. “Keep ’em guessing” is the name of the game, Camden we found, then we looked around Until we came to the sea. It looked like my love the Pacific, The waves and the gulls, they were terrific, It sounded and smelled great to me. We collected some shells and some sand as well Then we went to our motel to sleep. Next morning we’d want to take a wee jaunt For back into history we’d leap. All through the next day we moved through the time of 200 years ago Small brick buildings housed small beginnings, How since then our nation did grow. Narrow cobbled streets in the big city This hand touched the Liberty Bell!!! Whenever I hear “Philadelphia”, I’m sure I’ll remember it well. Those quiet rooms where great men attended At the time of our nation’s birth. A sense of the past overwhelmed me And I hoped we all knew of their worth. Names echoed down from the ages, Franklin, Jefferson, Hancock and such, Since they signed their names on that paper, We all owe them ever so much. Well, our sight seeing’s feet worn down to the knees, Our long skirts a swaying in the cold breeze, We hurried back to the car before we could freeze. Philadelphia may be the city of brotherly love, But it sure did get cold there, seemed like 20 above. It was Washington next, that we aimed for, Said we’d stay till we’d seen what we’d came for. But we had to decide, so the tour bus we’d ride, Then the places we saw all for free there. Lincoln’s Memorial looked just like I’d hoped it would, This man lived his life just like we all should. And I saw our Nation’s huge Capitol Dome, I knew I had come to the right house, But they said President Ford was not at home, So I didn’t stay long at the White House. At Arlington I was astounded With white tombstones we were surrounded. Dead soldiers from long ages past, Your eyes don’t deceive, You just can’t believe, They’re still dying, How long can wars last? There are thousands of known dead, And the lonely unknown dead, The eternal flame burns ever bright there, Why can’t they stop killing? Why aren’t men willing to refuse to ever fight there? At the end of this day when I heard “Taps” play I felt stirred by all I had seen. Never can I forget, what sadness and regret, Contained in white crosses planted in green. Six tall white spires thrusting their way up to Heaven Huge building so white and so clean, Looked weightless, eternal, celestial, Looked like it could float from the scene. Such clean lines…gold topped with an angel Trumpet to mouth, All ready to proclaim Jesus’ coming again! It’s a landmark for miles around. And I’ve seen tough taxi drivers with tears in their eyes As they take people for free rides there. As you see pictures there are no windows, Yet from inside you are bathed in lovely colors Of stained glass…They are covered with 1/32 of an inch of Marble, and the sun shines through to magically light the inside stairs. At night the lights stream out, bringing the colors alive for those On the outside to see. Style reminiscent of Salt Lake Temple, yet more modern and straight lines. There’s a calmness, a peace that surrounds it, Although there’s building going on all around. When you realize what a great missionary tool The temple is, just standing there, so people will see it and ask questions. It has become another “must see” on tourist lists. Big mural facing you down the long hall Covers a whole wall, On the left of central figure of Jesus Stands people weeping amidst wreckage of their lives and homes On the right multitudes of glad to see Him and His eyes bless Them and His hand supports them … and there among the clouds The Washington Temple in all its glory….shining bright. Of all the things I’ve ever seem, this place left an impression On me I will never forget. Never settle for second best…When you marry make sure your loved One and you are worthy to kneel across the altar of this temple or Another one like it….You will bless the day you made your vows before God this way…….. I bear you my testimony of this……. Cheryl Cooper

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Cheryl W. Cooper loved to read and always wanted to be a writer. She received inspiration for her writings from her family and the world of nature. Cheryl especially loved the ocean beaches. When she returned to live in Utah she left behind many of her favorite places; but only in her sight, for they remained clear in her mind until her death on August 12, 1991. In the last dozen years of Cheryl’s life her diabetes became worse and she lost a leg. She lost much of her physical strength, suffered heart attacks, and lost most of her sight. With the loss of sight she lost the freedom of driving and the enjoyment of reading. She adapted, but was at times depressed, bitter and angry. She kept on writing. Much of the writing in this collection reflects her thoughts and feelings of these later years. We hope to be together with Cheryl in the eternities, and publish these few poems in remembrance of her. May all who read them remember her… the love and strength she shared. Cheryl fostered appreciation for nature and our great heritage. She endured hardships and enjoyed friendships. She knew lonely days, but found joy in a summer rain and the cry of a sea gull. We dedicate these poems in behalf of Cheryl Ella Workman Cooper, on this day, August 12, 1993, two years after her graduation from this life into the next.

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