Friday, September 11, 2015

Diana Winslow Cooper, R.I.P

A Tribute to Diana Cooper
By Phil and Ginny Nodhturft
Two Friends Who Loved Diana

Read at Her Burial Ceremony September 5, 2015

Indeed, this is a sad day for all who knew and loved Diana. The pain and sadness we all feel today is hard to describe. We cannot begin to comprehend the extreme loss Diana’s family are experiencing now. Diana’s passing has fallen heavily on the hearts of all who loved her. We have abandoned ourselves to an overwhelming state of grief, but we write this tribute today to honor a great woman named Diana and to offer our comfort to the Cooper Family.

Her loss is such a deep shock to us. Ginny just spoke to her on the phone the day before she passed on. She called to let us know that Russell her beloved Beagle had taken a few steps, and she felt so encouraged that he was healing. She also thanked us profusely for the food package we sent to cheer her up. She was so appreciative of cards and packages sent her way.

Diana was an extraordinary woman in so many ways. She was a warm, loving person who had a heart of gold. She would do whatever she could for anyone in need.  She loved her family and they loved her. She has led family and friends into a kinder, loving, more compassionate world.

Every time we see a precious moment or a “knick-knack” in a store or catalog we think of Diana. When we see them, we pause and think of the precious moments that we both shared with Diana.

What is it we remember when we think of Diana? I think everyone who knows her well would agree with us on this. It was her understated outlook on life, her warm heart, her sense of humor, her desire to do nice things for others, her air of dignity and her joy of being around people.

We both have such fond memories of Diana dating back to the 1970’s.

We visit the Coopers every year on our fall foliage trips in October. Visits in October were always filled with laughter and reminiscing about fond memories. One of the treats Diana had on the table were her Klondike Ice Cream Bars. How we laughed like children when biting into them. Diana also had special cheese that Ginny liked to put on crackers.

Her love of her dog, Russell, that led to her giving into his voracious eating habits was a big concern for her, but she gave fed him freely because, as she said, “It’s one the few things that makes him happy.”

Her appreciation and sheer joy bubbled over when we sent her cards of encouragement, along with holiday and birthday cards.

She has left a void that no one can fill. Every time we see the bright sun beaming down or a bright star in the sky, we will think of Diana. She was our sunshine and our bright shining star.

It’s all over: the strife, anxiety, the pain, the turmoil of worrying about Mom, Russell, and her future is over. Henceforth, her life will be remembered with fondness and love forever. She will truly be missed by all her family and friends. She has left behind numerous memories that we will never forget. When someone you love becomes a memory they leave behind a treasure. Diana has left many wonderful treasured memories for her family and for all of us who knew and loved her.

This is our time to celebrate her life. So, this is the moment we should all be thankful that we were given a chance to have known a wonderful woman, Diana. She meant something to each and every one of you. And this is the time to cherish those memories we each have of Diana. 

Diana’s life was filled with enthusiasm, courage, and love. Her journey was a great one surrounded by loving family members and her faithful dog Russell.

She lives on in each of us with her warm, loving spirit.  The power of God has allowed Diana to resurrect her spirit within each of us. She has given us restoration and hope to move forward. We need to make our lives purposeful and infuse Diana’s spirit in others. We need to tap into Diana’s pure gold and inoculate others with her warm, loving spirit to give strength to others in need, so they can lead a giving, loving life as Diana did. In Diana’s legacy we must bring hope, joy and peace to others.

Doug, there is a special spot in heaven for you. There is a saying that says “how we handle our tough times stays with us for a long time.” You have handled your tough time with grace, dignity, sacrifice, commitment, and put your needs on the back burner to stand by Diana, offering comfort, love, and support, to keep her spirits up.  You have done everything humanly possible to care for Diana. You provided her with laughter, joy, and fun. She loved you more than you realize. You were the best brother any person could hope to have. You have been an extraordinary inspiration to all of us.

Phil and Ginny would like to share a poem.

Life is but a stopping place
A pause in what’s to be
A resting place along the road,
To sweet eternity
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
But never meant to stay
Our destination is a place
Far greater than we know
For some the journey’s quicker.
For some the journey’s slow,
And when the journey finally ends,
We’ll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the lord.
Author Unknown

We pray for comfort, peace, encouragement for the Cooper Family. We pray that God will carry you through this difficult time.

Dear Lord, Diana is at your side and in your hands now, please take good care of her. And, please help Diana’s family find the courage, strength, and self-confidence to cope with this extraordinary loss.  


Our best friends for over half a century, Phil and Ginny wrote this, and it was read by Ginny's brother Charles Lohmann, at my sister's burial service on 5 September 2015. 

Many people spoke at the service, and the unifying theme was Diana's kind-heartedness, a nurse who really nurtured, a sister who was at the center of her family, a good-natured, happy woman, "Witty to talk with, pretty to walk with," a kind heart so very rare. She was interred with the ashes of her beloved dog, Russell Beagle Cooper.

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