School 21
Official Obituary of

Gary W. Cooper

1931 ~ 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Gary W. Cooper Obituary

Gary W. Cooper, 92, of Hershey, PA passed away Monday, May 1, 2023.  Born in Cambridge Ohio, he was the son of the late Eva and Harry Cooper of Lemoyne, PA.  He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Jeanne Cooper, his son Lee Cooper and sister Jean Marquart.


He is survived by his three daughters, Denise Carpenter, Gail Ghelardini (Steven) and Jacquelyn Rikkelman; his ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and his son-in-law Ted Carpenter.


Gary’s life was centered around Sports.  He earned a full scholarship for Football and Basketball to Temple University and graduated with a B.S.  He was drafted into the Army to play for the prestigious Army Football Team.  After college, he was drafted to the Pittsburg Steelers team but was quickly traded to the Ottawa Rough-Housers in Canada, all the while starting a family.  He then became the Head Coach for the Harrisburg Capitals “Caps.”  He was a member of the National Collegiate Sports Hall of Fame.


His most fulfilling position and greatest joy was helping young people succeed at the Milton S. Hershey School.  He spent 25 years there as the Director of the Intermediate Residential Program. While there he earned a M.S. from Shippensburg University.


His family would like to thank the beloved friends and staff at Traditions of Hershey for the home, care and support they provided in Gary’s last years.


Gary will be laid to rest at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, PA with his wife and his son.  Per Gary’s wishes, there will be no funeral.



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Private Interment

Indiantown Gap National Cemetery
North State Route 934
Annville, Pennsylvania 17003


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