Constance Cooper

Obituary of Constance Bellinger (Simms) Cooper

COOPER, Constance (Connie) Bellinger (Simms) Connie Cooper was born on May 6, 1937, in Washington, D.C. to Perry Buckingham Simms and Constance (Connie) Elizabeth Hanlein. A longtime resident of Lakewood, Ohio she died in Austinburg, Ashtabula County, Ohio, on November 8, 2021. Connie grew up on Cathedral Avenue in Washington, DC in a townhouse that overlooked the National Zoo of which she was very fond. Her closest friends were, and still are, the girls from families that shared the alley that ran behind their respective homes. That was their childhood playground. They were a mix of Catholic, Jewish and Protestant. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in D.C., studied for two years at the University of South Carolina where she was a member of the Tri Delta sorority and graduated in 1960 as a registered nurse from the School of Nursing at the Washington Hospital Center. While in nursing school she went on a blind date with Hal Cooper, a farm boy from Iowa who was attending law school at George Washington University. They were married on December 31, 1960, at All Souls Episcopal Church in Washington. They celebrated their 60th anniversary on New Year’s Eve, 2020. Although Connie lived in the Cleveland area most of her adult life her father’s native state of South Carolina was always an important part of her life. Her grandmother Simms’ heritage extended back to Edmund Bellinger, the first Landgrave for the Colony of South Carolina and whose name Connie bears. Her father’s heritage included William Gilmore Simms, a well-known poet, historian and novelist from South Carolina in the 19th century. Thanks to Connie’s efforts, his portrait now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. She was also among the earliest members of the William Gilmore Simms Society. Connie always enjoyed vacationing on the Isle of Palms, one of the barrier islands in the Charleston, SC area. Connie was an enthusiastic supporter of the Tri Delt alum group in Cleveland and enjoyed playing bridge, tennis, going to the theatre, going to house sales, entertaining in their Lakewood home overlooking Lake Erie and volunteering in many organizations. She worked for a number of years as a nurse with a group of dermatologists in Lakewood where her greatest delight was to engage with patients to share in their personal stories. Connie was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Carroll (Simms) Hartman and a niece, Tina Hartman MacManus. Surviving are her husband; her three children, Shannon (Craig) Strachan, Chad (Amy) Cooper and Ellen (Matt) Ospelt and eight grandchildren: Cooper, Caroline and Daniel Strachan, Samuel and Sarah Cooper, Truman, Grace, and Grant Ospelt. Three Hartman nieces, Karen, Connie and Katherine, several cousins and many friends also survive. A memorial service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, 615 West Prospect Road, Ashtabula, OH at 11 a.m. on November 19,2021 followed by a luncheon at the Church. A celebration of Connie’s life will also be held on Saturday, November 27 at Sarita Restaurant, 14523 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, OH between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made in Connie’s name either to Messiah Lutheran Church, 615 W. Prospect Road, Ashtabula, OH 44004 or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 18001 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107. Ducro Funeral Services and Crematory, 4524 Elm Avenue, Ashtabula, Ohio is assisting the family. www.ducro.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Constance Cooper, please visit Tribute Store
Friday
19
November

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, November 19, 2021
Messiah Lutheran church
615 West Prospect Road
Ashtabula, Ohio, United States
Friday
19
November

Funeral Luncheon

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Friday, November 19, 2021
Messiah Lutheran Church
615 West Prospect Road
Ashtabula, Ohio, United States
Saturday
27
November

Celebration of Connie's Life

11:00 am - 2:00 am
Saturday, November 27, 2021
Sarita Restaurant
14523 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio, United States
Share Your Memory of
Constance