|Birth: ||Jan. 20, 1916|
|Death: ||Apr. 10, 2002|
OBITUARIES: CUMMING: Cadell Cooper, built 'Spaghetti Junction'
BYLINE: DERRICK HENRY; Staff
DATE: April 13, 2002
PUBLICATION: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
EDITION: Home; The Atlanta Journal Constitution
SECTION: Metro News
Cadell Cooper only had a seventh-grade education, but he built bridges a Georgia Tech engineer would be proud of.
"Many engineers would come to him for advice," said his son, Gary W. Cooper of Alpharetta. "He had conceptual vision: the ability to see the end product just by looking at the site."
Mr. Cooper culminated his 50-year career as a project manager of highway and heavy bridge construction at age 72 with the completion of the dizzyingly complex Tom Moreland Interchange known as "Spaghetti Junction."
Other local projects included a bridge on I-85 near Monroe and Armour drives; the Piedmont Avenue Viaduct; and a railroad bridge near the General Motors plant in Doraville.
He also built bridges in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Virginia, Kentucky and Minnesota.
"He was the kind of man you could just give a blueprint to and he would do the rest," said Otis Bellamy of Ellenwood, owner of Bellamy Brothers construction company. Mr. Bellamy gave Mr. Cooper his first jobs in Georgia.
"He was one of the best," said Frank Queen of Orlando, owner of Foundation Technologies in Tucker. "He understood construction and surrounded himself with good people."
Cadell Hampton Cooper Sr., 86, of Cumming died of a heart attack at North Fulton Hospital on Wednesday. The funeral is 2 p.m. today at Cumming New Life Church. L.W. McDonald & Son Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
By age 25, the Virginia native was managing highway and bridge construction projects and supervising workers twice his age. "He had such a way with people he'd win them over and make them feel important," said his son.
After retiring, Mr. Cooper kept busy with handyman projects and building five-foot tall decorative lighthouses. "His workmanship was fantastic; he was a maniac about details," said his stepson, Keith West of Atlanta.
Mr. Cooper often regaled his family with stories about his bridges. With his second wife, he did more. "On our honeymoon, he drove me all over the country to show me his bridges," said Minnie West Cooper.
Other survivors include a brother, Joseph Randy Cooper of Atlanta; two daughters, Joan McKinzie of Atlanta and Darlene Cooper Shaw of Santa Monica, Calif; two stepdaughters, Honey West of Cumming and Diane West-Cawley of Jasper; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Edgar Willet Cooper (1890 - 1970)
Ellen Ingles Miles Cooper (1895 - 1960)
Una M. Gardener Cooper (1915 - 1995)*
Odie Ray Cooper (1910 - 1942)*
Cadell Hampton Cooper (1916 - 2002)
Darius Morgan Cooper (1918 - 2001)*
Joseph Randolph Cooper (1927 - 2010)*
Cadell H., Sr.
White Chapel Memorial Gardens
Plot: Large mausoleum, outer N wall
Created by: Diane Simmons
Record added: May 12, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37007277