≡ Menu


[Click any image to enlarge. Note: Most of us knew Robert as “Craig”. ]

[Yearbook] Robert Cooper

Robert Cooper

“Squeaks”… Sincere, reserved and studious … interested in cars, especially Fords … an amateur photographer … choice of college undecided.

From Craig’s 50th reunion greeting to class…

It hardly seems possible that we’re celebrating a 50th class reunion. It was only yesterday that we were celebrating our “graduation” with a party and post party breakfast at the Clam Box Restaurant on the Post Road.

The class detectives were successful in tracking us down and the reunion announcement eventually reached us. The weekend party and get-together sounds like fun and Gaile and I would like to join you and all the others. However, we have conflicting travel plans as we’d previously arranged for a trip to Prague with friends in August which overlaps the reunion dates. We’ll drink a toast to the Staples class of ’55 on the 13th and send our congratulations and best wishes.

As suggested I’ll include a “catch-up” summary of what’s happened in my life since those early years at Staples.

Following graduation from Penn State and completing Navy OCS, I attended the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, GA (home of the University of Georgia) where I met my wife, Gaile. We’ve now been married for almost 43 years and have a daughter, Dana, in Maryland and son, D. Craig, a doctoral research chemist in Idaho, and four grandchildren: three boys and one girl.

The big news in the family is my son’s announcement this week that he’s formed an exploratory committee in anticipation of running for Congress in 2006. We expect to spend a good deal of time in Idaho next year helping with his campaign and family activities.

I retired from the aviation and airline industry about three years ago and we now live at Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, about 30 miles west of Charlottesville. Most of my career was spent working out of Atlanta, Minneapolis and Miami while with Southern Airways, Republic Airlines, Eastern Airlines and the new Pan Am.

Along the way I attended graduate school for the obligatory MBA. At Eastern and Pan Am I held executive positions and was on the team that successfully restructured and brought Eastern out of bankruptcy as a high-tech, aviation software company. I was also active in the rebirth and startup of the new Pan Am. I’m sure most Staples ’55 alumni will remember these fine airlines although they are no longer flying. Southern and Republic do live on as they were wrapped into Northwest Airlines. Pan Am didn’t make it and was purchased by a small railroad company in New Hampshire and flew charter flights under a different name. The airlines were a fun and exciting industry in the days when flying was fun and comfortable!

We now spend a good deal of time entertaining and visiting grandchildren, traveling (by car), and are active in a number of local performing arts and community preservation organizations. Living at a golf and ski resort is very pleasant and the community has the same semi-rural benefits as the Westport of old minus the beaches.

Gaile and I send our best wishes for a fabulous 50th weekend. We’ll be there in spirit if not in person. Best wishes to the class of ’55!

—R. Craig Cooper
Wintergreen Resort (Blue Ridge Mountains), VA