Dr. Cooper still seeing patients after more than 60 years
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Updated: October 21, 2012 1:10PM
LINCOLNWOOD — During the 62 years that Dr. Marvin Cooper has been practicing pediatrics in the North Shore area, the community has grown to know and love him as a humanitarian with a big heart whose lifelong dedication to providing medical care to children was so strong, he decided to forgo retirement.
Cooper, 90, has built a strong foundation in Lincolnwood — both personally and professionally — since he moved to the village 62 years ago shortly after marrying his wife, Marcia. Today the couple still lives in the same house on Pratt Avenue they moved into back in the early 1950s as newlyweds and later raised five children in.
Cooper, a professor who teaches problem-based learning at Northwestern University, opened North Shore Pediatrics at 6374 N. Lincoln Ave. about 35 years ago after practicing pediatric medicine in the Rogers Park Neighborhood for 30 years.
“He’s been a pediatrician to about every child in Lincolnwood since 1956,” Mayor Jerry Turry said. “He’s just an amazing person.”
After seeing between 20-25 patients a day for many years, some of who travel as far as Janesville, Wis., and Merrillville, Ind., for appointments, Cooper has cut down his hours in recent years and now typically works two days out of the week and sees up to 10 patients per day.
“The ability to provide continuity of care has kept me here all these years,” Cooper said. “Many of the patients I saw as children now bring their kids here, and I appreciate the loyalty of the community.”
Aside from his medical practice, Cooper served on the Human Relations Commission for more than 10 years before retiring two years ago.
While on the HRC, Cooper came up with the idea to start the “Diversity Flag Program,” an annual display of 51 flags along Lincoln Avenue every August that represent the ethnic diversity of Lincolnwood.
Cooper, who earned his MD from the University of Illinois in Chicago, also worked as the medical consultant for the Lincolnwood Police Department for more than 10 years, where his primary job was to officially confirm whether a person was deceased.
Among several notable deaths in Lincolnwood Cooper confirmed over the years was the mob-related shooting death of insurance executive Allen Dorfman outside the Purple Hotel in 1983.
“They’d (the police) take me to a body and I told them if the person was dead or alive,” Cooper said. “It sounds simple but that’s what I did.”
Looking back on the past six decades, Cooper, whose family has grown over the years to include 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, said his secret to longevity has been his family.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” Cooper said. “I’ve lived through my children and my wife, who is the backbone of the entire family — she’s a super gal.”