Obituaries for November 10, 2016

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Louis Irwin Cooper, 68

Dr. Louis Irwin Cooper, a retired Navy captain and pediatric hematologist-oncologist, died on Oct. 7 at his home in Silver Spring after a battle with pancreatic and liver cancer. He was 68 years old.


Cooper was the son of the late Sol and Rachel Cooper, oldest of their seven children and patriarch of his family. He was the beloved husband of 31 years of Laura Kaplan Cooper; devoted father of Steven (Yelena) Cooper of Boca Raton, Fla., Amy (Elad) Hakim, also of Boca Raton, and Erin (David) Stiebel of Southfield, Mich.; loving “Zaide” to nine grandchildren; cherished brother, uncle, great-uncle and friend to many.

Cooper grew up in Savannah, Ga., and dreamed of becoming a pediatrician, which he actualized at the Medical College of Georgia in 1973. During his senior year, he joined the Navy, doing his internship and pediatric residency at the National Naval Medical Center and his hematology-oncology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

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During his 27 years of proud service to his country, Cooper was stationed in Bethesda, Charleston, S.C., and Jacksonville, Fla., with short periods in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Millington, Tenn., Orlando, Fla. and Keflavik, Iceland. Upon retiring from the Navy, Cooper continued practicing pediatric hematology oncology at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, with Community Hematology-Oncology Practitioners, and general pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente.

He was recognized nearly annually in The Washingtonian as one of Washington’s top doctors and received accolades from his wisdom, expertise and professionalism.


He was a doctor’s doctor, modeling warmth and concern in his every interaction, investing in his patients and their families both in and out of the office and leaving a lasting impression on all who had the honor of meeting him, his family said. His walls displayed pictures sent to him by former patients, who are alive today due in large part to his care.

In an effort to share his knowledge, Cooper authored a book for new parents titled, “Dear Parents: When to Call the Doctor for your Infant or Toddler,” which he proudly inscribed and gave as gifts to new and veteran parents.
Despite his accomplishments, his family was his greatest source of pride. He reveled in every opportunity to be surrounded by his children and grandchildren, always teaching them, sharing his deep love for Jewish traditions and values and singing with them.

Cooper was a beloved member of his Jewish community, creating the warm, inviting atmosphere at his synagogue, the Silver Spring Jewish Center, as the quintessential southern gentleman whose traits all wanted to emulate. Cooper was a light to the world and though he will be missed terribly, his legacy and lessons will continue to a source of inspiration.

The interment was in Savannah. Remembrances may be sent to Silver Spring Jewish Center, 1401 Arcola Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20902.

Bernard J. Alpher

Bernard J. Alpher, 93, died Nov. 7. He was the cherished husband of 55 years to Penelope Alpher; loving father of David (Robin) Alpher and Alison Arrouet, adored grandfather of Daniel Alpher, devoted uncle to a niece and two nephews. Donations can be made to the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, JSSA or a charity of choice.

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