Rodney L. Cooper Obituary –

by AryanArtnews
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Rod Cooper fell into the mystery of the universe on November 29, 2021. He died in the love of his life, his wife, BJ Brantley Cooper. Brantley Elliott Cooper, a devoted father to daughter, lifemate Ryan M. Fitzgerald, and his “buddy” Peyton Cooper Sprowski’s proud grandfather, all Greensboro. He is dying by his parents and is bothering Gary Cooper. He is survived by his brother-in-law, James Brantley, his wife, Kathryn, and his nieces, Allison and Meredith, all by Wendell.

A true southern gentleman, Rod maintained the highest standards throughout his life. From welcoming guests to reaching out to friends and family, he believed in making the world a better place through beauty, excellence, and giving. His dry wit, sense of humor, and ability to laugh at himself and in life leave a gap for everyone who knows him well.

Rod was born on April 12, 1951 in Burlington, North Carolina, to Ellen Forbis Cooper and Wayne Harris Cooper. From the time he was able to hold a pencil, Rod painted a picture and a planned space. On his 11th birthday, he began a formal painting class with his first oil paint box. Rod’s mother was an artist and teacher. Her love for art and design influenced and informed his passion for life. She loves decorative arts and he was separated at antique stores and art galleries. Rod’s father has supported his efforts since he had his first crayon.

Rod’s art and design education began with a summer session at the North Carolina School of the Arts in high school. In 1973 he received a BFA from UNC Chapel Hill in a dual major in Studio Art and Art History. He did a graduate study in art history at UNC Chapel Hill and then lived in New York and Washington, DC, where he extended his career. He continued his education in Washington, graduated from American University, taught at the Smithsonian Museum, and taught with Clement Conger, a former director of the State Department’s public rooms and collections.

Returning to North Carolina, he became director of the Firehouse Gallery in Alamance County, a board member of the Alamance County Arts Association, and taught painting and painting classes at the Alamance County Community College. His first adult art exhibition took place in 1975 at the Green Hill Center in North Carolina Art. Rod’s work in the furniture industry and decorative arts began as a set designer, graphic designer, and finally creative director at the High Point Alderman Company. He wrote copies, designed photography, and was an award-winning art director for hundreds of catalogs and advertisements. He also restored the house and interior for the client and himself.

In 1987, Rod was a marketing group for branding, design, art direction, production, advertising, printing, data services and fulfillment, Cooper and Cockerham, Inc. Was co-founded. He was President and Creative Director until 2002 when he was honored as Creative Director. Rod created the interior of the office and designed the showroom for many furniture and fabric manufacturing clients. He designed furniture, wallpaper patterns and fabrics. During his time as an art director, Rod designed over 1000 room settings. Today, Cooper Cockerham, Inc. Has a successful business as C2.

In 2010, he retired as a caregiver for his wife, who was diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Upon retirement, Rod began painting again. In 2012, he held a solo exhibition at the Green Hill shop, which has been around since the 1975 show. In 2016, he exhibited a large-scale work at the Center for Visual Arts, and in 2018, he exhibited it at the View on Elm Gallery. .. His paintings are featured in Wells Fargo, BB & T, Lloyd’s of London, and many private collections.

He continued to generously give time and money to various organizations in the community. Rod freely gave his paintings to support the charity auction. He is a volunteer at the Green Hill Center in North Carolina Art and has served on the board for six years. Rod also volunteered at UNC-G’s Weatherspoon Art Gallery and was a member of the Weatherspoon Association Board of Directors. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a teacher and guide for Sunday School. Rod was the governor’s guesthouse designer during the Hunt administration, a volunteer on the Burnabus Network, and assisted in reading at Jones Elementary School and our children’s homes.

The family would like to thank Constance Garner and Diane Quillen for their excellent care for providing home care. We would also like to thank Dr. Clarence Owen, a defender of our dad, especially for the past few months.

The celebration of his life will take place at 5 o’clock on Sunday, January 9, 2022 at Undercurrent Restaurant on Battleground Avenue 327 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The service is provided by the Triad Creation and Funeral Service.

Rod was always surrounded by flowers, planting and gardening, so the family didn’t ask for flowers and asked for donations to the Weatherspoon Museum or the Green Hill Center in North Carolina Art.

Posted online on December 11, 2021

Published in Burlington Times News

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