Dr. Muriel Cooper
Stella Muriel Cooper was born in Alma West, Albert County, in 1919. She was the daughter of the late Cerdic and Reta (Alcorn) McKinley. Her distinguished career took her from teaching in one-room schools to the role of invited lecturer and researcher for the Mount Allison Department of Education in 1990-91. After graduating from the Provincial Normal School in Fredericton in 1937, she taught in Waterside, Hastings, and Surrey until 1942. During the Second World War, she worked as an accountant for the Dept. of Finance in Ottawa and returned to her home in Alma to teach at the Superior School from 1946-48. She worked as an accountant for both Fundy National Park and for Blue Cross of Atlantic Canada from 1949 to 1953.
After taking a few years to care for her only child, Allan John, Muriel briefly returned to work in 1956 as a principal’s supply for the Moncton School Board. Starting in 1960, she rose through the ranks becoming a school supervisor and later a provincial evaluation consultant with the Department of Education from 1975 to 1985. During this time, she continually upgraded her own education receiving her BA and BEd from Mt. Allison in 1970, her MA from UNB in 1980, and became the oldest student at that time to complete her PhD at Dalhousie in 1989 at the age of 70. In 1988 she was admitted as a Fellow of the Canadian College of Teachers.
Along with her busy career, Muriel was an active member of Central United Church in Moncton, serving on a number of committees. She served on the Moncton Council of Women and was a life member of the Albert Country Historical Society.
Muriel was also a writer, publishing in a number of educational journals, and in the Atlantic Advocate, First Encounter, and Germination. In 2000, her full-length collection of poetry The Music of Memory was published by Owl’s Head Press. She was able to give several public readings after its launch. In 2001, Muriel became a resident of Royal Court in Riverview, later a resident of Canterbury Hall, and remained in the care of the dedicated staff of Monarch Hall for four years until her death.
In addition to her parents, Muriel was predeceased in 1981 by her husband of 31 years, John P. Cooper, her sisters Elta (2006) and Doris (2008). She is survived by her son Allan (Laurie) and her granddaughter Kate Cooper Butland (Brad). Also surviving is her only nephew Fred Keirstead (Peggy), their daughters Jennifer Keirstead (Eugene) and Victoria Lobban (Travis) and one great-great-niece, Johanna. She will be missed by Beth Nichol, a devoted companion and caregiver for many years, and the staff and residents of Monarch Hall.
Visitation at Fergusons Funeral Home, 1657 Mountain Road, Moncton (858-1995) on Friday, October 3, 2014 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm, followed immediately by the Funeral Service at Fergusons Funeral Home Chapel at 1:30 pm, with Rev. Carol Mullin officiating. Reception in the Funeral Home Reception Centre following the service. Interment in Fairhaven Memorial Gardens.
Family flowers only. In Muriel’s memory, donations to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada or to a charity of choice would be appreciated. Online condolences at
Friday, October 3, 2014
Fergusons Funeral Home Chapel
October 3, 2014
12:30 - 1:30 pm
Fergusons Funeral Home
Fair Haven Memorial Gardens
Alzheimer's Society or Charity of Choice