Friday, April 05, 2002 - OAKLAND -- A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Allen Temple Baptist Church for Stanley Cooper, a longtime East Oakland resident and mentor to Oakland students. He died of a heart attack and complications from diabetes at his home March 26. He was 59.
A dedicated teacher and coach, Mr. Cooper encouraged young people to complete their education and pursue their dreams. He touched many lives working in the Oakland Unified School District for 35 years at Castlemont and Oakland high schools as well as King Estates Junior High School. He was also a part-time employee of the city Department of Parks and Recreation for 33 years.
"The kids were No. 1 to him," said parks co-worker Fredrick Morris.
Born June 16, 1942, in Kentwood, La., Mr. Cooper received a bachelor's degree in physical education at Grambling State, where he also played varsity football. He moved to California in the late '60s and started teaching physical education and coaching basketball at Castlemont in 1969. He later spent 20 years teaching and coaching at King Estates. Mr. Cooper held a master's degree in education from Pepperdine University.
According to friends and family, his dedication to children, education and athletics was outstanding. Many of his pupils attended college and made a lifetime commitment to sports.
"He was a loyal coach and worked very well with the kids," said Wayne Young, who served as Oakland High's head football coach for 13 years, later becoming school principal.
Mr. Cooper's tenure with the school district ended at Oakland High as a physical education teacher and head football coach. Skyline High School football coach John Beam often faced Mr. Cooper on the sidelines of Oakland Athletic League games.
"He was an important part of Oakland schools, as a coach and teacher, and spent a majority of his career involved with the city of Oakland," said Beam.
Mr. Cooper was an active member of Allen Temple Baptist Church and the Bay Area Chapter of Grambling Alumni, as well as a Prince Hall Mason at United Lodge, No. 52.
He is survived by daughter Shannon of Oakland; former wife Iantha Orebo Cooper of Oakland; mother Maggie Cooper of Kentwood, La.; sister Elaine Cooper Bell of Kentwood; and brother Joel Cooper of New Orleans.
Allen Temple is at 8501 International Blvd. in Oakland.