Beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt, Donna Jean Cooper, age 89, passed peacefully on November 26, 2023, in Layton, Utah. She was the only child born to parents Lester Vernon Engstrom and Thelma Lenore Bruce Goyette on December 25, 1933, in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Her three stepbrothers were Donald and Lyle Engstrom, and Norman Bruce.
Donna lived in Spirit Lake until the age of one when her family moved to Algona, Iowa. This began a long string of moves for her. Her parents liked to move and changed jobs often so they didn't bat an eye when the itch struck. As part of a job application, she had to list the many places she had lived in her early life, and it amounted to 17 times! At the age of 12 the biggest move of all took them to Southern California in 1945. She resided in various cities there until 1977 when she, her husband and two boys moved to Bountiful, Utah. She lived in Bountiful until her death.
Donna was an accomplished technical illustrator for Hughes Aircraft in Los Angeles. She owned operated Artline, an art framing store in Five Points Mall and Colonial Square in Bountiful. She worked for the American Genealogical Lending Library (AGLL) for many years. Upon leaving AGLL she pursued a career in real estate.
Donna loved being a mother, but like all grandma's, her greatest joys in life were her grandchildren, Jason, Mathew, and Amanda. They spent many hours in her home playing, making memories, and tinkering with the many treasures she left on the coffee table. Nothing was off-limits, and if it was, she would say, “No finger fifing”! The big yard was a wonderful place to run and play. She would take her grandchildren to California and Iowa to give them experiences and a glimpse of her childhood. The grandchildren were able to see and do a lot of “cool stuff" because of their grandmother. She taught them many things like how to use a computer. She was always about having fun foods for them to eat and especially loved making them chocolate malts and big fancy sundaes.
Donna had many talents and interests. She listened to music (oldies), and played the piano, organ and clarinet. She LOVED to dance! She could write poems and stories and while doing so, created many characters to remember. She could crochet. She had a green thumb and knew how to grow beautiful house plants and keep them alive for years. She loved a great conversation and could strike one up with anyone she met... friend or stranger. After her husband passed away, Donna loved planning, preparing, and serving great meals to her widowed friends and then going to church dances afterwards. Donna would never pass up a good game of Rummikub or Mexican Train and was a master at Solitaire.
Donna will be remembered for her creativity, quick wit, and sense of humor. She loved all living creatures (except snakes, she detested snakes). She especially had a soft spot for dogs, cats and the deer who came to lounge in her spacious backyard. She had a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit. If she could think it, she could accomplish it.
Preceded in death by her mother and father; brothers Donald, Lyle, and Norman Bruce; husband, Francis Wayne Sutherland Cooper; son, David Wayne Cooper; grandson Jason Cooper.
Survived by son, Steven Cooper, Dove Creek, CO.; grandson, Mathew Cooper (Tiffany) Layton, UT, granddaughter, Amanda Shea Cooper, Syracuse, UT, great-grandchildren, Emma Faye Cooper, August Thomas Duffy Cooper, Jason Jeron (JJ) Cooper, Cobin Cooper, Hannah Cooper, and Hailey Cooper; numerous nieces and nephews.
We would like to thank all who took part in caring for and cheering Donna on during her cancer battle. Thank you for all the visits, good food, and great conversation that made her days brighter. We give a heartfelt thank you to Quality Hospice and Home Health for their tender care and attention.
Funeral services will be Monday, December 4, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.at the Bountiful 36th Ward Chapel, 102 East 1400 South, Bountiful, UT. Viewing prior from 9:00-9:45 a.m.