Husband, father, grandfather, Presbyterian minister. Born Oct. 23, 1945, in Winnipeg, died Jan. 9, 2013, in Pictou, N.S., of a heart attack, aged 67.
To say the man was smitten can’t quite reach the depths of it, for in Glenn’s life there was one great love – Iona.
Theirs was a collaboration in life, which may be the best kind of marriage. Certainly, it worked.
Glenn was at his very best in situations that called for understanding and empathy. He had great compassion, and such varied experience of life’s bittersweetness as to be able to help people make sense of the most senseless things.
That was what made him so effective in the life to which God had called him, the ministry. It was his other great love, a fortunate affection that others experienced as kindness, forbearance, sympathy and generosity of spirit.
Whether in preaching, prayer or pastoral work, Glenn gladly entered into the needs, the sorrow and the joy of those under his care.
A voracious reader and a hound for information, Glenn enjoyed thinking things through. He liked facts, to gather the data and then decide. Once he was satisfied with the conclusion to which he had come, Glenn was the next thing to unshakable in his conviction. Oh, his mind could be changed, but only after going through the same process that had led to the conclusion he was about to relinquish.
His love of detail made Glenn a skilled editor of both other people’s writing and his own. His deep love for the English language gave his preaching great eloquence; his prayers were a delight to the ear.
Then there was his music: He sang, played guitar, trumpet and drums. He had just bought an Irish Bodhran drum and was going to learn to play it. One of many things left undone.
There were the Pictou Rotary Club shows, too. I missed his performance as Pseudolus, but by all accounts it was a smash. In recent years, as the PresbySingers, we had great fun, which led to the Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol reading each December, modelled on the CBC original.
Glenn’s radio program, The Hymn Book, gave him pleasure, and us along with him. The show revealed his eclectic musical taste, though it happily leaned to the classics.
Glenn was a person of wide-ranging enthusiasms, and cycling became one of them. It was the discipline of preparation and the accomplishment of the ride that he enjoyed most, though Iona could manage to get him to slow down enough to take in the view as well.
He had a marvellous sense of humour, a bit bawdy at times, and occasionally off the wall. No one raised on The Goon Show could be otherwise. He could be crusty, too, but that was more apparent than real. He could not hide his feelings about his family.
The lives of his children, John and David, and their partners pleased him greatly. He delighted in the role of Papa to his grandchildren, Ruby and Finnigan. His closeness to his sister Rachel touched him deeply.
It has been a privilege of many to have known Glenn Cooper, to have loved, admired and respected him, and to share days and years in his company.