Keith Cooperrider, who served as a controller and chief financial officer of The Washington Times for 33 years, died Thursday of complications from a four-year battle with brain cancer. He was 72.
"Keith Cooperrider's patriotic heart, brilliant mind and tireless energy invested for more than three decades stands firm as a mighty pillar for The Washington Times," said Tom McDevitt, chairman of The Washington Times. "He was a delight to work with as a man of great character who was dedicated to the mission, employees, readers and advertisers of The Times."
Mr. Cooperrider was born to Rose Mary Ashman and Verne Cooperrider on April 2, 1947, in Berkeley, California. He was raised in Seattle, Washington, with his brother, Bob; two sisters, Kristi and Sally; and four foster siblings.
In 1969, he graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, with degrees in math and physics. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which he proudly referred to as "the Bridge fraternity."
After graduation, Mr. Cooperrider set off in his Volkswagen Beetle to tour the United States and Mexico. He had intended to return to Portland at the end of his trip, but he stopped and settled in the East Coast in the summer of 1970, at which point he joined the Unification Church, in which he remained an active member until his death.
In Washington, D.C., Mr. Cooperrider worked at NASA for two years on the LandSat project, whose history he enjoyed viewing at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. In 1972, he joined the National Headquarters of the Unification Church as the Executive Assistant to the President.
Throughout the 1970s, Mr. Cooperrider was responsible for managing the expansion of the Church in all 50 states, as well as purchasing several properties in New York City that became the National and International Training Centers for the Church.
Mr. Cooperrider and his wife, Sara Sack, were married in 1975. They enjoyed the early years of their marriage in New York City, where their two sons were born. They later had a daughter who was born in Washington.
In 1982, he accepted the position of controller for The Washington Times and rose to the position of chief financial officer a few years later. Mr. Cooperrider served at The Times for 33 years until brain tumor surgery in 2015 required him to step down. He left a legacy there of humility and compassion, and a hopeful outlook that inspired many even in tough times.
"Prayer is that magical power that connects us to the source of energy and love in the world," he wrote for The Times in 2015. "Just as we receive love from that energy, we can receive guidance from that energy too."
Above all of his accomplishments in the workplace, Mr. Cooperrider valued time with his family and had a passion for the great outdoors - hiking, camping and fishing. In his mid-50s, he and two of his children hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail. He often said his night at Clear Lake looking at the stars above was one of the best nights of his life.
In his spare time, Mr. Cooperrider and his wife remodeled homes - well before the current HGTV trend made this popular - to save money for their children's education.
At the time of his death, he was surrounded by his wife and their three children - Caner, Kensy and Kara. He has two grandchildren - Ash and Owen.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, at The Washington Times' Arbor Ballroom, 3600 New York Ave., NE, Washington, D.C