Marilyn Cooper, long-time resident of Goodland, passed away on September 13, 2021, two months prior to her 91st birthday.
Marilyn Zace Brown was born on November 19, 1930 in Harrisburg PA to Vollie and Eleanore Brown, originally from Albuquerque, NM. During the Great Depression, when Marilyn was two years old, they moved back to Albuquerque where Vollie worked for his father building houses and later selling life insurance to workmen building Elvado Dam, therefore changing Vollie’s profession from electrical engineer to insurance. Marilyn was fortunate to be able to talk at length with her grandparents to learn our paternal family history through photographs, a family Bible and stories told to her by both grandparents.
At the age of 13, Marilyn received a present – a baby sister! Also at age 13 Marilyn was an accomplished vocalist and artist bound for a future of voice and art studies. But, one dream turned into another when she married her Fort Collins high school sweetheart, Ronald Blair Brouillette in 1948. When Vollie bought an insurance agency in Goodland in 1948, both families moved from Colorado to Kansas. Marilyn and Ron had four children— Garey, Brian (Charlie), Lynn and Paula – all of whom were born in Goodland. After relocating for some years to Colorado Springs and Thornton, CO, Ron received and accepted a job offer from Caldwell’s and the Brouillettes moved back to Goodland.
In 1969, Marilyn remarried to Raymond Cooper. In the mid-60s, prior to her marriage to Ray, Marilyn and her sister, Ginger, lived together and worked in Los Angeles. After their marriage, Marilyn and Ray resided in California until they moved back to Sherman County where Ray returned to farming. The couple lived in the country until health issues brought them to town.
Marilyn found her niche working for the Goodland Chamber of Commerce where she enjoyed meeting and working with people and businesses in Goodland and surrounding areas. Unfortunately Ray developed several serious health issues which required several major surgeries, the last of which took his life. After Ray’s death and after she retired from the Chamber office, she put her artistic creativity to work via her Wind Woman Originals home- based business creating Native American-inspired works of art. She was also a master historian of the Kidder Massacre and conducted tours of the massacre site. In the late 1990s she decided to travel to her points of interest including South Dakota and Mount Rushmore, then on to Wyoming to the Custer’s Last Stand battleground. After that she visited all of the forts in Kansas. Along the way she gathered places of business that displayed and sold her Wind Woman Originals art.
She spent hours in person and in long distance phone calls recounting to her sister the stories of their parents and grandparents of which her sister had no knowledge and was, therefore, blessed with the wonderful opportunity to learn.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Cooper, and three of her children: Charlie, Lynn, and Paula, and a granddaughter Sara Brouillette. She is survived by her son Garey (Reta) Brouillette of Goodland, her sister Ginger (Michael) Greenspun of Sherman Oaks CA, grandchildren Shad Brouillette of Kansas City, Carey (Scott) Hipp of Ellsworth KS, Aubre’ (Ted) Tompkins of Denver CO, Justin (Megan) Dryden of Omaha, NE, and Christopher (Pamela) Carleton of Port Roberts, WA; and eight great grandchildren: Elizabeth, Benjamin and Andrew Hipp, Devon and Arwen Tompkins, Ethan Dowd, Blake Edwards and Connor Dryden.
Big sisters are the best. They are always on your side regardless of what you’ve done. She is worth all my tears. Fly high with angels of kindred souls, Pete.