Israel “Izzy” Cooper, 98, of Tomah passed away Saturday, April 13, 2019, at Sparta Rolling Hills Nursing Home. He was born in Tomah, Feb. 6, 1921, to Joseph and Lena Cooper.
Izzy graduated from the Tomah High School in 1939. Special highlights were starting as a guard on his basketball team that continued to the Wisconsin championship finals, and playing the baritone in band. Izzy graduated from UW-Madison, with an accounting degree in 1943, and played the baritone in the university band. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946, including Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines, near Leyte Gulf and Manila. Izzy was in supply management, and played the baritone in the U.S. Army band during his service. From 1947 to 1949, Izzy was an accountant with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in Milwaukee. He married his wife, Evelyn, in 1948. The S&I Cooper Company was owned by Izzy and his brother, Samuel, from 1950 to 1990. The brothers worked diligently with long hours six days a week. Izzy was on the Tomah Memorial Hospital Board, The Forward Tomah Development Board, and recent recipient of a 70 year service award as a Mason.
Izzy was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife of 61 years, Evelyn; and brother, Samuel. Survivors are sons, Anthony and Scott.
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Izzy had a lifelong interest in basketball, football, and special affinity for the baritone, brass bands, folk and classical music. He enjoyed bicycle riding, walking, travel, golfing, and the outdoors. Family, friends, and community service have been dear to Izzy’s heart.
A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, with a masonic service beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Torkelson Funeral Home in Tomah. Family and friends are invited for visitation from 11:30 a.m. until the time of service Tuesday, April 30, at the Torkelson Funeral Home in Tomah. Reception to follow.
The family wishes to express special thanks to the Rolling Hills Nursing Home staff. Memorials may be sent to Sparta Rolling Hills Nursing Home, Tomah Masons, Tomah Memorial Hospital, and Tomah Historical Society.