Martha Margaret Cooper, 93, formerly of New Philadelphia died Wednesday, July 18, 2018 while in the care of the Slovene Home in Cleveland.

Born on April 22, 1925 in Erie, Pennsylvania, Martha was the daughter of George and Margaret Stelzer. Martha grew up in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania, and took a medical secretarial course at Jamestown Business Institute and worked in a physician’s office until she married.

Martha was married to her husband and best friend, Fred Cooper for over 55 years until his death in 2001. The shoe business took Fred and Martha to Illinois and Indiana, before they settled in New Philadelphia in 1960. As the shoe business grew, she briefly managed the shoe department at the former Daniels Dress Shop in New Philadelphia.

She soon shifted her focus to volunteering. In recognition of her contributions, Martha was the inaugural recipient of the Tuscarawas County Senior Citizen Hall of Fame Award. As her nomination by Union Hospital read, “Martha has served all ages in the community and has been a catalyst for programs that serve our area. She has done so in her quiet way, with the desire to address areas that will make a difference in the lives of others.” At Union Hospital, Martha served in a number of capacities, including bringing Lifeline (now HelpLine) to Tuscarawas County.

From its inception, Martha was active with the United Health Foundation. She was instrumental in establishing the Homemaker Referral Service. She and Fred were among the inaugural class of Mobile Meals volunteers when it started in 1973. Martha’s passion for the program continued as she and her friend, Mary Tucker, volunteered together until Martha relocated to Cleveland in 2015.

Martha also volunteered at the Tuscarawas County Library, the Tuscarawas County Senior Center, Warming America, and tutored elementary school students at South Elementary School. Active with T4C (Tuscarawas County Council for Church and Community), she was chairperson of the T4C Foster Care Committee, co-chaired the Tuscarawas County Share-a-Christmas, and volunteered at the Cats ‘N’ Us shelter where she also adopted her best buddy, Regie.

Martha was very active in the First United Church of Christ in New Philadelphia but held most dear to her heart the time spent working with her Sunday and Bible School students. She was an artist who loved spending time with family and friends and exploring new places.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Lyn Cooper Tomaszewski and Jim Tomaszewski; her grandchildren, Trina and Jonathan Tomaszewski; her sister, Evelyn Schliph; her nephew, Patrick Schliph; her great-grandchildren, Alexa Tomaszewski and Ethan Briggs; and grandnephews, Matthew and Michael Milano.

The family will greet guests on Sunday, July 22, from 2 to 4 PM in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory in New Philadelphia. A service celebrating Martha’s life will held on Monday, July 23, 2018 at 10:30 AM in the funeral home’s chapel with Pastors Jeff Gerber and Jill Lovett officiating. Burial will follow in Evergreen Burial Park at New Philadelphia. Following the committal service, a luncheon will be held in the Geib Family Center, adjacent to the funeral home.

Instead of flowers, contributions may be made to the First United Church of Christ, PO Box 422, New Philadelphia, OH 44663 or to the Church of the Covenant, 11205 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106.

Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
116 Second Street NE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Geib Funeral Service
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622

Geib Pet Crematory
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622