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The world lost a giant of a man and beloved husband, father, Papa and Great-Papa on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. Marvin Earl Cooper, M.D., aged 98, passed away exactly as he would have wished. In his mind, "...today was the day." At his side was the love of his life for nearly 70 years, Marcia, and he slipped away comforted in the knowledge that his five children, his sons and daughters in laws, his 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren would carry on his legacy with the strength and love of family he instilled in them every day.
Born on November 19, 1921, Marvin lived his entire life in Chicago with the exception of his college years in downstate Illinois and brief stint in the Army during the Korean War. After Medical School at University of Illinois, he joined a pediatric practice in West Rogers Park and continued actively practicing until he was 90, touching the lives of and caring for multiple generations of children (and, he would say, their parents) during those years. He was fond of saying that he didn't retire, instead he "resigned." A lifelong learner, he chose to continue his work and imparted his wisdom to first and second-year medical students at Northwestern counseling them in the art of medicine and the importance of treating their patients as people-not just people who were ill. The students loved him and he loved seeing the energy and passion they had for their new careers.
Marvin was methodical and deliberate in everything he did from packing a suitcase with the proper amount of tissue and plastic to building and taping a near impenetrable box for shipping. His desk was a maze of special pens, rubber bands, envelopes, stamps and paper clips. Everything had a place and there was a place for everything. He was a prolific reader of history, a collector of antiques, a master of crossword puzzles-although made words up from time to time. At the age of 95, he penned and self-published his autobiography. It was mostly true.
He spent time, over the past year, talking about his final wishes. Several weeks ago, he dictated the following about his obituary: "It should say I was a hale and hearty guy, honest and true. A lifelong Democrat who hated Trump."
He is survived by his wife, Marcia, his children: Sara (Hank), Michael (Charity), Joel (Cindy), Karen (Scot), and Adam (Melissa), 12 grandchildren: Jill (Marc), Marc (Gina), Matthew (Abby), Charlie (Angela),William, Abby, Lauren (David), Benji (Amy), Chloe (Hiro), Jade, Emma (Reid) and the late Leann (Doug), and 15 great grandchildren: Margo, Elyse, Penny, Jack, Mimi, Simon, Albert, Ethan, Gavin, Savannah, Joey, Amelia, Sadie, Mae, and Avery.
The family wishes to acknowledge, with the deepest gratitude, the love and care of Marvin's caregivers Rene Baudon and Albert Gabud. Their kindness and compassion knew no bounds and brought tremendous comfort to both Marvin and Marcia over the past 15 months.
Funeral services will be held Friday, September 18 and will include immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Marvin's memory to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 57 Executive Park South, Suite 380, Atlanta, GA, 30329, www.cff.org. To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com