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August 22nd, 2012

Reldon Cooper, renaissance man, passes

Published on August 22nd, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Reldon Cooper. Credit: Du-Co Ceramics Co.

We are sad to note that Reldon Cooper, a longtime member and corporate leader within The American Ceramic Society, has died at the age of 93.

I most recently wrote about Cooper, cofounder of the Du-Co Ceramics Co., just a few weeks ago when he and his family gave a contribution to ACerS to establish a new scholarship and a new annual award for young professionals.

Honestly, outside of knowing about his work with Du-Co Ceramics (established in an old slaughterhouse in 1949 with partner John Duke, in Saxonburg, Pa.), and knowing his daughter Lora, it turns out I didn’t know much about the man.

He wasn’t a butcher, baker or candlestick maker. Indeed, in life he was more than that. Besides being a successful businessman, philanthropist and father, according to the obituary in the Butler Eagle, Cooper also served as borough councilman, mayor, fire chief, deputy coroner, chair of the Butler County Airport Authority, member of the South Butler County School Board and amateur radio operator.

By the way, he also built the Saxonburg Museum.

His accomplishments serving his communities—civic and ceramics—reads like a legend, and that, I hope, is how he will be remembered.


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