MARQUETTE, MI – Connie Cooper Eltman, age 73, of Marquette, entered eternal life Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at UP Health System – Marquette.
Connie was born May 28, 1949, in Hillsdale, Michigan, one of three daughters born to Emmett and Virginia (Lopresto) Cooper. She was raised in a traditional Sicilian neighborhood on St. Joe Street, where the large number of aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family were very close. Connie was especially close with her twin sister, Bonnie, with whom she shared many adventures. Connie graduated from Hillsdale High School, Class of 1967, and relocated to Marquette and continued her education at Northern Michigan University, where she received her baccalaureate degree. She then began a 27 year career with Marquette General Hospital as a clinical social worker in counseling and substance abuse. During this time, she also enrolled in classes at Michigan State University, earning her Masters of Social Work Degree in 1997. She was later employed as a clinical psychological/addiction therapist at Catholic Social Services of Upper Michigan for over five years before finally offering her counseling services at Lac Vieux Desert Indian Reservation in Gogebic County prior to retiring in 2001.
In addition to her outstanding professional career, Connie also balanced additional roles of mother and homemaker. Her proudest accomplishment and love of her life was her son, Matthew. She was a devoted, loving, caring, and nurturing mom who willingly gave of her time (and sometimes finances) to drive him to his travel team hockey practices and games. She had a great impact on the younger generation and Matt’s friends were included in her sphere of influence. To many, she was like a second mom. She was an outstanding and creative cook who famously provided meals anytime of the day or night for Matt, his friends, and their friends, who came for a set mealtime or just wanted to hang out and be spoiled. The door was always open and she loved nothing better than providing a good meal for family and friends. A generation of Marquette hockey players and many of Matt’s friends remember her warm hospitality. For over thirty years, Connie and her soulmate, Patrick Landru, created wonderful seven course meals on New Years for Matt, his friends and their dates, showing their guests what good, quality European dining was all about. And then, there were the many Sunday “Soprano” dinners.
Throughout the years, Connie often welcomed many of Matt’s friends who simply stopped in, even when Matt was not at home. In addition to taking care of her family, Connie’s other interests included a love of gardening, growing flowers, painting, talking with folks and telling stories, and her interest in genealogy.
Connie is survived by her son, Matthew Cooper-Eltman of Phoenix, AZ; her life partner and soulmate, Patrick Landru of Marquette; a sister, Jeanne (William) Cooper-Kuiper of Muskegon; brother-in-law, Bob LaValle of Hillsdale; nieces and nephews, Brett Kyser, Jenna Kyser, Christopher Kuiper, Natasha Cusack, Sam Kuiper and Emily Kuiper; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and her canine companion, the Goldendoodle, Sophia.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents; and her twin sister, Bonnie Kyser-LaValle.
A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held at Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services on Wednesday, September 28, from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. This will be an informal time for the sharing of memories, conversation, and snacks.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the UP Children’s Museum, 123 W. Baraga Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855.
Condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Connie, please visit our floral store.
Published by Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral & Cremation Services on Sep. 23, 2022.