Artistic Expressions: S. Imelda Cooper (1925-)

Throughout the years S. Imelda Cooper has been asked to write poetry to honor a specific person or special occasion. Her exceptional gift for finding just the right words for the particular occasion are always offered in her gentle, southern style.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1925, S. Imelda was taught by the Sisters of Charity at St. Thomas School, Memphis, and came to appreciate the manner in which they served others, always joyful and loving in the ways they related to the students, parents and  members of the parish. This was the sign to her that she was being called to become ‘one of them.’ She entered the Sisters of Charity Community in 1943. S. Imelda earned degrees in education from the Athenaeum of Ohio, 1952; English from the College of Mount St. Joseph, 1957; and a master’s in religious education from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1967. She gave 30 years to the classroom, in loving service, teaching mainly junior high and high school students in Cincinnati, Ohio, Findlay, Ohio, and South Holland, Illinois. Throughout those years she often wrote poetry and was frequently asked to write a poem to honor a person or a special occasion. She has always had an exceptional gift for finding just the right words for the particular occasion, offered in her gentle, southern style. Deciding to transition from the classroom, for the next 14 years S. Imelda worked in parish and hospital settings as a chaplain and parish minister in Omaha, Nebraska, and Des Moines, Iowa. She then closed out her pastoral ministry service at St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, retiring in 1992. In her retirement years S. Imelda has given time to visiting the homebound, reading and listening to music. Her gentle spirit is appreciated as a listener, confidant, Sister and friend.