Winfred Cooper

Obituary of Winfred Ann Cooper



Née Steele


Ann died peacefully at Christie Gardens on December 3, 2022 after a bout with uterine cancer. She was born in Winnipeg on June 24, 1936 to William and Molly Steele and spent her early years in Winnipeg and Regina before the family moved to the west coast. She completed secondary school at West Vancouver High School and enrolled at the University of British Columbia to pursue her degree in Nursing Science.


In August, 1959 Ann and three nursing classmates moved east to join the Department of Public Health of the City of Toronto. They took up residence in the Algiers South Apartment on Avenue Road north of St Clair. Ann became the school nurse at Duke of Connaught Public School, visited homes in the downtown east side of the city and taught prenatal classes.


In the adjacent unit of the Algiers Apartment lived four young men.  One of them, named Donald Cooper, was particularly attracted to Ann, and after a whirlwind courtship they became engaged at Christmas followed by a wedding at the Church of St. Francis-in-the-Wood in West Vancouver on July 11, 1960.


Ann continued to work with the Public Health Department until her sons were born in the mid-1960s. After a few years at home she connected with Centennial Infant and Child Centre which provides home-based programs to families in support of infants and children with complex developmental challenges.


Her work took her to homes in Forest Hill and Rosedale, and to less advantaged parts of the city as the challenges to children were, and are, not found exclusively in one socio/economic bracket. In her spare time she completed her Master of Nursing Science degree at University of Toronto.


In the broader community Ann served as President of North York University Women’s Club and on the congregational executive of Bloor Street United Church. In her “retirement” she delivered “meals on wheels” for West Neighbourhood House [formerly St. Christopher House]. She was an enthusiastic hockey mum who could be counted on to support her sons playing at York Mills Arena. She was also famous for her chocolate chip cookies which remain fondly recalled by middle-aged men who enjoyed them fifty years ago.


In her retirement years she and Don travelled widely in North America and Europe, especially with their close Scottish friends Ian and Allison Gunn.


Ann was stimulated by the broad diversity of the population in the Greater Toronto Area and developed friendships with people from many backgrounds.


Left to mourn are her husband, Don, sons, Bruce [Marie Campbell] and Douglas [Petal Moore], beloved granddaughters, Emily and Erin, adopted daughter, Fatima and brother, Peter Steele of Rancho Mirage, CA.


The funeral service will be held at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue, Toronto on December 15th at 1:00 p.m., followed by a reception. There will be visitation on December 14th from 6.00 - 8.00 p.m. 


Interment in the family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery, Hamilton will take place at a later date.


Donations in memory of Ann may be sent to West Neighbourhood House, 248 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, M6J 3A2. Condolences may be forwarded through


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