Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Shirley J. Cooper

January 20, 1936 - July 29, 2020
Holland, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Shirley J. Cavanagh Cooper, 84

Shirley J. Cavanagh Cooper passed away on Wednesday July 29 at home. Shirley was born January 20 1936 in Detroit, MI to C.Jefferson and Sydney Miller. Shirley graduated from Cass Tech High School in Detroit. She received her Bachelor degree from Detroit Mercy then received her Master in Music Education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Shirley taught music education for 30 years including 18 years as the elementary orchestra teacher at Holland Public Schools.

Shirley’s greatest passions were her family, music, boating and her pets Sailor and Musetta. In her retirement, Shirley and her husband did the Great Loop Cruise three different times in three different boats that they owned. They also traveled near and abroad in many exciting adventures. Shirley was a member of Our Lady of the Lake in Holland, MI and St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Pompano Beach, FL. Previously she was a member of the Great Lakes Cruising Club, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Holland Symphony, Muskegon Symphony and Past Commodore of Anchorage Marina Yacht Club.

Shirley is preceded in death by her husband Charles Cooper, Brothers Jefferson and Edward Miller, sister’s Evelyn and Lillian. Also her step sons Thomas and Steve Cooper and step daughter Karen Cooper.

Shirley is survived by her son Jeff (Lori) Cavanagh, daughter Kristen (Garry) Visscher, Granddaughters Sydney and Delaney Cavanagh, Clare and Elizabeth Visscher and Grandson Michael Visscher. Sister in law Madeline Miller. Step son Robert (Carol) Cooper, Step daughters Charlotte (Bud) Bower, Tammy Cooper and Sheila Cooper, many wonderful step Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Shirley loved all of her family very much.

A brief visitation will be held on Friday August 7 at 2pm with a funeral mass following at 3pm at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church 480 152nd Ave Holland, MI 49424 with Father Michael Cilibraise officiating. Social distancing and masks are required. In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions can be made to Harbor Humane Society or the Holland Area Youth Orchestra.