Edward Thomas Cosper left this world on January 5, 2018 at the full age of 93, surrounded by his family.
Known in his younger years as Rowdy and Corky, Edward was a cowboy, an aviator, an educator, tireless fisherman, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend.
He could fix just about anything, sought out hard work, loved a good joke, a raucous game of poker and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Born in Clifton, Arizona on November 30, 1924, Edward grew up on the VT Ranch in Eastern Arizona in Greenlee County, with his older brother Phil and parents Jim and Katie.
Their modest, hand-hewn ranch was a 9-mile horse ride from the nearest dirt road. He sat in a saddle before he could walk and although poor, his upbringing was rich with love and family.
With Edward's prompting, his father went before the draft board in Clifton to request that his youngest son be able to enlist and join his brother Phil in the military. His father had to assure the draft board that he could continue to operate the ranch without his son, as cattle were considered a necessary commodity during WW II.
Edward obtained his wings and was an aviator with the Army Air Corps during WW II. Both he and his brother were able to return to the open arms of their family after the war.
Edward married Mary Lou Lunt on February 2, 1947. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2017.
Edward attended Colorado State University and went on to graduate with his Master's in Education from Arizona State University on the GI Bill. After a brief stint in Camarillo, California, Edward would spend the rest of his career working for Glendale Union High School District in Phoenix, Arizona. There, he worked as a teacher, coach, and Assistant Principal at Washington High School, opened Thunderbird High School as Principal and was Assistant Superintendent of the District prior to retiring in 1986. Many wonderful, life-long friendships were made there.
A few years later, Edward and Mary moved to Silver City, NM. They loved their quiet life there, amid the pines and juniper, deer, hummingbirds and quail, not to mention the closeness of family.
Edward is survived by his wife Mary Lou of nearly 71 years, his daughter Deborah Ann Cosper-Hughs (James Edd) of Silver City, NM, daughter Katie Cosper (Roque) of Las Cruces, NM, son Randall James of Tucson, AZ, son Joel Edward Cosper (Alexis) of Dolores, CO; grandchildren Katie Beth, Brodie, Tyler, Jack Toles; great-grandchildren Joshua, Olivia, Ayla, Jakob, Miles; step-grandchildren Christopher, Noemi, Temple; step-great-grandchildren Maxwell, Roque, Celine, Tazio; and half-brothers Dave Cosper and Scott Cosper and half-sister Beth Cosper.
It would be an oversight to not mention his grand-dogs and cats, Rufus, Rowdy, Pumpkin and Sam. He loved his four-legged friends. His health was with him until the past few months and he lived life fully and completely. His thrifty, "make-do," self-sufficient, resourceful and pragmatic outlook was with him throughout. He continued to drive, cut his own firewood, and take gentle care of his wife, Mary Lou. He loved his family, his friends, his country, Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, and Eddy Arnold, anything weather-related that included moisture, epoxy, going off-road and defying convention.
We are grateful for the tender and loving care he and Mary Lou received the past three months at Santa Clara Assisted Living and for Horizon Hospice.
Cremation has taken place through Terrazas Funeral Home and services will be pending a sweet, warm summer day, an Arizona sky, and a celebration of a good life. "From this valley they say you are leaving, we will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile, for you take with you all of the sunshine, that brightened our pathway awhile." (In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the American Cancer Society or charity of your choice. Or in honor of his memory cherish the simple things in life, lend a helping hand, or enjoy a sunrise or a sunset.)
Arrangements are with Terrazas Funeral Chapels and Crematory "Trusted care for the ones you love" ~ 575-537-0777.
To send condolences, visit www.terrazasfuneralchapel.com.