Glenn Cooper

His smile when he saw you was a reminder that he was grateful for finding a home on Vashon.

Glenn Cooper passed away peacefully on January 29 at 82 years old. After spending his younger years at Rainier Institution for folks with developmental disabilities in Buckley, Washington, Glenn was glad to find the community of Vashon and call it his home more than thirty years ago.

So many people welcomed Glenn when he first arrived here. He was welcomed at the Islander almost daily for breakfast, the owner of his apartment building dropped by new shoes by on a regular basis, the Pharmacy made sure he always had his medicines. The list of Vashon people who helped Glenn is long.

He was well known in our community. The bench outside US Bank was made in his honor. His small recycling business enabled him to be the “King of Cans’’ in the parade each year. And with his unsteady gait and few words, most competitors underestimated what a pool shark he was at the local watering holes. In many ways, he was the town greeter. If you walked by, you were sure to get a big grin and a hello.

His downtown home the last years was Sporty’s. He made a beeline daily from his front door and hung around outside on his scooter and ate breakfast there most days. The employees went out of their way to always take good care of him.

He returned only once to Rainier Institution a couple months after he moved to Vashon. Moving through the familiar hallways, he found a nurse on the floor he had lived on. He walked up to her, reached his hand in his pocket and pulled out a key to his apartment on Vashon. He looked at her and said, “I got my own key now.” He turned around and walked silently back to the car and didn’t say a word on the drive back to the ferry.

Glenn knew the importance of having a place in a community. His smile when he saw you was a reminder that he was grateful for finding a home on Vashon. And he wanted you to feel at home, too.

We’ll miss you, Glenn.