Chesterton Tribune



Yolonda Fenters Cooper Smith passes away at age 97

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Yolonda Ruth Fenters Cooper Smith, 97, passed away at home in Albuquerque, NM, on Sunday, August 19, 2018. She battled Congestive Heart Failure for 8 months in the Care of Legacy Hospice and her daughter, Linda Cooper, with whom she had lived for the last 12 years.

Yolonda, Mom, Bucky, Gram, Little Princess, YoYo and, then, like one who needs no introduction, justÉ YO!

Yolonda Ruth Fenters was born May 26, 1921, in Pine Village, IN, and raised in Chesterton, Porter and Gary, IN, by her parents Harold and Oral Fenters. Her two younger brothers, Franklin and Richard Fenters, bedeviled her as younger brothers often do!

After graduating from Chesterton High School in 1939, Yolonda went to Chicago to work at Western Medical with her mother’s sister, Marie Maguire. Aunt Marie had a huge influence on Yolonda’s sense of style, transforming the young woman from bobby sox and oxfords to nylon hose and heels. That sense for style lasted a lifetime, and as she traveled well into her eighties, earned her lots of compliments.

When Yolonda left Chicago to return home to Chesterton she got a job with NIPSCO in Michigan City and eventually married Horace “Coop” Cooper, Jr., in 1943, at the Chesterton United Methodist Church. She gave birth to their first daughter, Linda, the next year, followed by Candace, and then Gretchen. As Coop ran the projectors at the Aron Theater, owned by his parents, Horace, Sr. and Nora Cooper, Yolonda was a stay-at-home mom, something she was always grateful to be.

Coop and Yolonda divorced after 33 years, and later Yolonda married Richard M. Smith, of Chesterton. They moved to Denver, CO, where they lived for 23 years, enjoying skiing, golfing, square dancing and ballroom dancing together. Also during those years, Yolonda and Richard traveled the world seeking out the next adventure wherever their curiosity led them.

The Smiths moved to Albuquerque, NM, in 1999, to be closer to their daughters who lived there. After Richard passed away in 2004, Yolonda moved in with her oldest daughter, Linda, and her Aunt Marie who taught her how to dress stylishly so many years ago!

She enjoyed her time in Albuquerque with the beautiful vistas, chats on the terrace, and the company of Linda, her kitty Lola, and many neighbors and friends.

Her children and many grand and great-grandchildren have loved and admired her sense of humor, independent spirit, optimism and curiosity.

Yolonda Ruth Fenters Cooper Smith is survived by her three daughters, Linda Cooper, ABQ, NM, Candy Davison (Thomas) Naples, FL, Gretchen Blake (John) Cody, WY, and four grandchildren, Lisa Church (Glenn), Anthony Davison (Kim); Daniel Blake (Aubrey) and Cody Blake (Kelle); and seven great-grandchildren.

Yolonda has three stepchildren: Thomas Smith, Chesterton, IN, Nancy Rademacher (Kurt), Corta Madera, CA, and Susan Horn (Karl), Santa Fe, NM. Step-grandchildren are: Oliver Horn, Natalie Horn, Brendan Smith, Mark Smith, Molly Rademacher, and Eric Rademacher.

Yolonda loved her big extended family most of all! Her spirit and sparkling personality will be missed by all who knew her.



Posted 11/30/2018




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