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