501 Fairvilla Road Orlando, Florida 32808

Vernal Cooper January 21, 1961 - July 10, 2022

Service Details

July 9, 2022 at 11:00 AM
St. Peter's Episcopal Church of Lake Mary
700 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida 32746

Visitation Information

July 8, 2022 at 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Mitchell's Funeral Home, Inc.
501 Fairvilla Road, Orlando, Florida 32808

Obituary for Vernal Cooper
The name Vernal correlates with Spring. Ironically, he was born the Spring of 1961 and Spring is the season of new beginnings.
Born on January 21st, 1961 into the Matrimonial union of William Cooper and Issiemae (Strachan) Cooper, he was the last of their three children, and their only son. He was the baby brother to Eloise and Mavis.
Whether he knew it or not, Vernal was groomed to be a family man. Family was always the intricate part of his life all the way up until his death.
His maternal grandparents in addition shared in the rearing and nurturing of his upbringing. From a young child, he possessed the qualities of a born leader. His family trusted him with major decisions from a young age and relied on him to use good judgement.
Could being the only male child play a factor? Quite possibly. However, regardless of the reason... Vernal proved himself time and time again. Everyone knew he was the baby of the family, but he conducted himself as the head of the family. Even making decisions about his own future factoring in the impact it would and could make on his loved ones. He proved that he could and that he would take care of them.
After graduating high school and landing what some would consider a good job, Vernal decided it simply wasn’t good enough for him. That was the thing about Vernal, where some might say, “What more could you want?” He more than likely would say, “I want it all! I want it all!” He was never the status quo. He never would settle especially if something was stirring in him.
This prompted him to look into college abroad in the United States. This was during a time when even something seemingly as simple as applying to college was ostentatious for a young man born in East Grand Bahama. Another thing about Vernal is that he always set the bar... he showed people that almost everything is attainable with drive and determination. After getting accepted into college, Vernal lived in the United States for a few years obtaining his degrees.
I’m sure the reality of a whole new world... a whole new life was alluring to him, but the core of his foundation was family, so without a doubt he was returning home.
If you knew Vernal and the type of person he was, then it goes with saying that he came back to Grand Bahama and quickly made a name for himself. But if you truly knew him, you knew he made a name for himself without even having to speak one word about himself. He was never braggadocious, never boastful, but he was always about his work! His work spoke for itself. People sought after him.
Vernal was an Engineer by trade, but in all honesty, he was a jack of all trades. His mind was so complex, almost everything he saw was a challenge. Constantly educating himself even years outside of the classroom, he was always up on trying to figure something out. When most people would probably need to hire someone for a task, maybe 8 times out of 10, Vernal was trying to figure it out for himself and mastering it.
Vernal was the type of person that definitely to know him was to love him. There’s no way you knew him and you could not. It’s just something about a person that was very quiet, private, and stayed in the background lots of time, but still their character and persona was bold and forthcoming. Many people knew the myth more than they knew the man. Many people may have an idea of who Vernal was, but again if you truly knew him, then you knew the “straight shooter”, “tell it like it is” person that he was. He was also never malicious or mean spirited. He didn’t know any other way other than to be blunt and direct. There was never any sugarcoating or saying anything nice and sweet. He just wasn’t built like that.
Family life would take on a whole new trajectory for Vernal when on July 4th, 1987, he married his wife Dorie. They met while he was home on a Christmas break from college a few years prior. Together they were blessed with two daughters. Being a husband and father was a role he took seriously. Providing security and support was never a negotiation. It never took the backseat to anything else he had going on. Even as the top engineer at Freeport Power Company, every morning he took his kids to school, and every afternoon he picked them up. Every night he did homework. No matter how many island wide outages Grand Bahama had in a week, he knew exactly how many boys called his house. Vernal was a very intentional and present father. Every move he made when it came to his family was strategic. But that’s that complex brilliant mind. Always working. Always a few steps ahead. That thought process didn’t just encompass the four walls of his own home, that extended to the branches of his extended family.
There are countless others that can attest to him being a father figure to them as well, a fixer, a problem solver, and way maker.
Aside from a career that he chose and loved, and his family and friends, nothing topped him being a “Papa”, as he like to be called, for the first time. Fatherhood was one thing but being a grandfather almost made him unrecognizable. They say a grandparents’ love is unmatched and he proved that everyday.
Vernal spent the entire 2022 year with his children and granddaughter in the United States traveling back and forth to the Bahamas periodically. Sometimes accompanied by his wife or sometimes coming ahead of her.
On June 7th, he had just made his reservations to travel back to the Bahamas. His wife would join him and they would travel back home together the next week.
Unfortunately, that trip would never happen. June 10th, 2022, with what seemed like any other Friday, turned out to be the worse one for our family. He passed away unexpectedly and the shock of his death has left an indelible mark on so many.
Vernal lived a life that everything he touched or was a part of was just golden. If you had him as a friend, you knew you had someone awesome in your corner. If you were blessed to be his family, then you knew you had someone amazing in your bloodline. And if you had him as both, then you were the lucky one.
Sixty-one years, 4 months, and 20 days may not seem like a long life to most, but it’s actually what you put in it. His life was full. Vernal lived a life of almost double that. He was always reinventing himself, always educating himself, always curious, and always thinking about what’s down the road before he even made it to the stop sign. His rest is well earned. You can be sure of that. He achieved a lot. He saw a lot. He experienced a lot. He gave a lot. Unbeknownst to many, he did so selflessly.
Vernal leaves his cherished memories to: wife, Dorie Cooper; children, Vernisha (Terriel) Jackson, and Vechelle (Christopher) Dixon; granddaughter, Averie Jackson; father, William Cooper; sisters, Eloise Cooper, Mavis Cooper, Sylvia Wallace, Alma Russell, Patricia Collie, and Malinda Reckley; brother, Wendal Cooper; 13 nieces; 12 nephews; 13 nieces-in-law; 11 nephews-in-law; 8 grandnieces; 10 grandnephews; 8 brothers-in-law; 5 sisters-in-law; aunts, Nathanlie Laing, and Carmie Nesbitt; uncle, Alfred Cooper; numerous cousins; mother-in-law, Theresa Pinder; 7 aunts-in-law; 5 uncles-in-law; childhood friends, Nathan, Cecil, Jefford, Whitfield, Kay, Dunlock, and Renwood; life long friends, Philton, Orlando, Melvin, Harry, Cesar, Levi, Dwayne, Leroy, Wally, Bradley, Ishmael & Bertha Laing, GBPA (building & development staff), Former employees of GB Power , Betty Newman, Eddie Grant, Pandora Bethel, Carlton, Rhonda & Robin Haven, St Nicholas Anglican Church, East End Grand Bahama, and The communities of Sweetings Cay and High Rock.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church of Lake Mary
July 9, 2022 - 11:00 AM
700 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida 32746

Mitchell's Funeral Home, Inc.
July 8, 2022 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
501 Fairvilla Road, Orlando, Florida 32808

, Orlando, Florida 32808

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