Cooper, Vivian Filson. Jr.

New Orleans Native Was Provident Insurance Regional Vice President

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Vivian Filson Cooper, Jr., 92, of Signal Mountain, passed away on Sunday, February 9, 2020, after a series of strokes. 

Fil is survived by his sister, Virginia Herron, and her husband Clyde; brother-in-law, Benjamin Franklin Givens, Jr. and his wife Linda; children, Beverly Gail Cooper and Robert Filson Cooper and his wife Laura; son-in-law, Milton F. Capps; grandchildren, William Capps, Jessica Capps, Katherine Cooper, Christine Cooper and Rebecca Cooper; nieces, Julie Herron Carson, Patty Herron Hunter, Pamela Givens Harriman and Linda Givens; and nephew, Clay Herron.

Fil was predeceased by his parents, Blanche Herty Cooper and Vivian Filson “Dinty” Cooper, Sr.; and his much-loved daughters, Marion Lee Cooper and Vivian Cooper Capps.

Fil was born in New Orleans and lived there until he was 10. His father, Dinty Cooper, was then transferred by the Ford Motor Company to Atlanta, where he ran the Ford Motor Company plant. 
Fil attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, served one year in the U.S. Army, then continued his education at Emory University and graduated in 1950. It was there that he met his beloved wife, Frances Marie Givens, and they married in 1950 at St. Phillip’s Church in Atlanta, where their daughter Vivian was born. The couple lived in Louisville, Ky., for one and a half years. 
He joined Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company as a sales manager in Greenville, SC, in 1955. He lived there for 10 years, and his daughter Gail and son Bob were born there.

The family moved to Gastonia, NC, with Provident for six years, then Fil was promoted yet again and transferred to Chattanooga (Signal Mountain) in 1972. Fil retired from Provident in 1992 as regional vice-president. Some of his accounts included IBM, Nissan and the American Medical Association, and he won multiple sales awards throughout his career.

Fil and Frances were active in their local Episcopal churches throughout their married life, and at St. Timothy’s of Signal Mountain from 1972 on. Fil was involved in civic organizations such as the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions Clubs, and the Boy Scouts of America. He also volunteered as a Big Brother.

Fil adored his children and grandchildren, and the rest of his family as well. He loved golf and swimming, and also enjoyed tennis, billiards, bridge club and boating. And he loved playing the piano: in his later years, the baby grand that Frances gave him.

He loved to debate and usually won on the facts, because he was so well versed in issues that interested him. He also really enjoyed New York City, where he had spent an internship for Home Life in 1951, and had a native's knowledge of the city. Fil and Frances traveled a great deal after his retirement, enjoying trips to England, France, Russia, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada and more.

His late daughter Vivian wrote this poem for him a decade ago: “He carries a king inside; a nobility that refuses to hide behind golf shoes, or cowboy hats, or other modern trappings. / A king, but also a boy, with a boy’s grace and easy playfulness. / He tries to cover up the tender heart of a bard, but alas, his efforts fail; / We see him struggle for an unnatural steeliness that a king doesn’t need, a boy doesn’t want, and a bard cannot abide.”

The family will receive friends from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 630 Mississippi Ave. in Signal Mountain, with the funeral service following at 3 p.m. The officiants will be the Reverend Derrick Hill and the Reverebd Taylor Dinsmore. Fil will be interred in the columbarium at St. Timothy’s, alongside his wife Frances. 

The family would like to say thank you to the health care staff at Alexian for the love and support that they provided.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in Fil’s name to St. Timothy’s Church, or to one of the employee scholarship funds at Alexian Brothers Village, 437 Alexian Way, Signal Mountain, Tn. 37377.

Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, Tn. 37343. 

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