Centerville Assistant Fire Chief Michael “Coop” Cooper, age 61, died in the line of duty on January 31, 2015, after spending several hours fighting a warehouse fire in Centerville.
Assistant Chief Cooper started with the Centerville Fire Department on July 12, 1977. He successfully completed his FFI training, and over the years he worked his way through the ranks of the department until he was appointed assistant chief in 1989. Assistant Chief Cooper was past president of the Centerville Volunteer Firefighters Association and served many years on the department’s executive committee. At the time of his death, Assistant Chief Cooper was the longest serving volunteer firefighter in the department’s history. In 1985, Assistant Chief Cooper was credited for saving the life of a teenage boy when he rescued him from a house under heavy fire conditions.
Assistant Chief Cooper was an avid golfer and enjoyed a good cigar. (Actually, they weren’t good cigars at all. They were the cheapest, nastiest things you ever smelled.) Coop was a former officer of the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2675.
The most important thing in Coop’s life was his son, Cole. Over the years, Coop spent time coaching his son in both wrestling and baseball. Coop was never shy when given a chance to boast about Cole.
Assistant Chief Cooper is survived by his son, Cole Cooper, of Centerville; sister, Holly (Stacey) Cooper-Simons, of Tucson, Arizona; and his eternal brotherhood of firefighters and friends.