Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Merv Cooper, rest in peace

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Fellow Kite Fliers around the planet,

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that Dr. Mervin L. Cooper, longtime treasurer/event organizer of the Toronto Kite Fliers and prominent kite aficionado worldwide, passed away on Friday, December 24th from a severe cardiac arrest. Merv is survived by his loving wife Rovena and his son David.

Merv had collapsed while swimming at his nearby recreation center and could not be revived by health professionals. As with religious custom, his funeral and memorial was held on Monday morning. Unfortunately due to the holidays and friends being out of town, there was no representation from the kiting community at this event.

Merv was a very close personal friend whom I shared many experiences with and I, as many of you who know him, am particularly disheartened by his sudden and unexpected passing. Merv had recently retired from a lengthy practice as a Toronto dentist and had been participating in many more kiting activities, particularly those in the Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) interest. Merv will be known as a cornerstone for many of the events he attended because of his extensive and whimsical kite collection, including his recent acquisitions of show kites. He was an avid Rokkaku competitor and personal benefactor to Lam Hoac, multiple champion kite competitor.

There will certainly be an empty space in the sky with his loss and an empty space in my heart, for he was a kiting pioneer and unsuspecting advocate for the hobby and the sport, not only in Ontario, but also throughout the world where his kites have flown.

The Toronto Kite Fliers are in the planning stages for an appropriate memorial in the near future, in remembrance to a great kite flier and friend. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Mervin L. Cooper Memorial Fund c/o The Benjamin Foundation (416-780-0324).

You are also encouraged to pay tribute to Merv by posting your messages, stories and remembrances here on the Merv Cooper memorial website. His wife and son look forward to reading about any stories and personal reflections from anyone in the international kiting community.


Gary Mark
Toronto Kite Fliers