The ASF family was dealt a tragic blow this week when Bob Cooperman lost his valiant and courageous battle with cancer on Friday, December 2. Our hearts and prayers go out to Donna and his children, Dan and Jennifer, and the many grandchildren. It’s no surprise to any of us that Bob defied all the odds and predictions of the doctors and continued to live his life to the fullest. Bob always defied the odds—in fact, he took great pleasure in proving he could do something that no one else believed possible. I can still see his smile and hear his distinctive laugh when he pulled off the impossible as we just shook our heads in amazement.
I’m sure many of you have the same memories of Bob as I do. He and Donna are the reason I joined the ASF. Bob was my ski instructor in the adult program and Bob and Donna invited me to ski along with them one day as they taught in the adaptive program. Needless to say, I was hooked. Next thing I knew, I was wearing the ASF jacket and having students of my own! When I took my Level 1 and 2 Alpine and Adaptive exams, Bob worked countless hours with me to make sure I was ready. He was also one of my examiners and while he was really tough on me, I know he secretly took great pride in knowing I could handle it. How often have we all watched Bob take a group of instructors out on the slopes and prep them for an exam? Or train a new group of instructors? Or spend extra time with instructors at the end of the day until they got “it”? I guess you could say that Bob was “Mr. ASF”. He embodied everything we should be as instructors and more. He gave of himself so unselfishly and he took great pride in mentoring many of us. He truly loved what he did and I know he wouldn’t change a thing if given the choice.
This winter isn’t going to be the same without him. When I walk into the great room at the ASF center, I’ll still expect to see him sitting there, putting on his gear and rubbing his hands together, excited to start the day on the slopes and share his great wealth of knowledge.
I hope those of you who knew Bob will take a few minutes to share your memories of him. I know he would love that. God bless, Bob, I will miss you…