1934 – 2014

CEDAR PARK, Texas — Barbara J. Cooper, 79, former longtime resident of Auburn and mother of five, passed away in Cedar Park, Texas, on Friday, March 7, surrounded by family after battling Alzheimer’s for the past several years.

A Pearl Harbor survivor of Portuguese descent, Barbara was born on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in 1934, to Rose (McNelly) and John Silva Jr. In the 1941 attack, she and her grandmother fled to a nearby bomb shelter as sirens wailed and the Japanese strafed the harbor and their Schofield Barracks’ post.

The adopted daughter of a U.S. Army officer, Maj. Bertram McNelly, Barbara was evacuated shortly after the attack, sailing to the West Coast via a troop transport ship with her mother, Rose, and sister, Carol, continuing across the country by rail to Maine, seeing snow for the first time in early spring 1942.

During and following the war, she lived in various cities where her adoptive father was stationed, including Boston, San Francisco, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Bad Nauheim, Germany. She graduated in 1952 from Waynesville High School in Waynesville, Mo.

In 1953, Barbara married her first husband, Roy R. Rosin, in Heber Springs, Ark., where the couple had five children together. In 1972, she earned her licensed practical nurse accreditation from St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Hospital in Little Rock, Ark.

In 1973, she returned to Maine as an LPN for Central Maine General Hospital, now Central Maine Medical Center, before joining Floyd Ray Realty as a licensed residential broker later that decade.

In 1978, Barbara married her former husband, Glen J. Cooper. In 1981, they co-founded Maine Business Brokers, operating the business out of their residence on Turner Street in Auburn.

Throughout the 1980s, she was an active parishioner at St. Philip’s Church in Auburn, serving as an adult catechist. Barbara was also a longtime supporter of the Theater at Monmouth.

In 1992, Barbara relocated to Portland, before finally moving to Round Rock, Texas, in 2010, to be closer to family as her disease progressed.

In her later years, Ms. Cooper enjoyed following sports, especially professional basketball and tennis.

She is survived by her three daughters, Deborah J. Ripley and husband, Ibra “Chip,” of Denmark, Laura L. Clark and husband, Jerome “Jay,” of Charlotte, N.C., and Lee Ann Cook and husband, Stephen, of San Antonio, Texas; two sons, James S. Rosin and partner, Kat Hasselman, of Nutley, N.J., and Christopher S. Rosin and wife, Rosina, of Austin, Texas; six loving grandchildren, Anastasia Ripley of Denmark, Craig Taylor of Marysville, Calif., Graham and Addison Cook of San Antonio, Texas and Olivia and Philip Rosin of Austin, Texas; one loving great-grandchild, Audrey Taylor, of Marysville, Calif.; a sister, Carol L. Bridges, of Little Rock, Ark.; and a brother, Michael J. McNelly, of Tracys Landing, Md.

She was predeceased by a sister, Mary Lee Hawley, of Auburn, in 1989.

Personal words of comfort and memories can be shared with the family online at www.gabrielsfuneral.com.

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