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Kenward F. "Skip" Cosper

Kenward F. “Skip” Cosper of McKenzie Bridge, Oregon, died in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 26, 2023, and is survived by his wife, Katheryn Townsend Cosper and his two children, Darcy Buck and Elora Cosper. Skip was born February 6, 1939, in Plentywood, Montana to Ransom and Norma Johnson Cosper.

His family moved to Oaksdale, Washington in 1943, where his father ultimately became Superintendent of Schools, and the family, as a whole, took up subsistence farming. Cosper graduated salutatorian from Oaksdale High School in 1957. He attended the University of Washington and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1961 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio – Television. He was named Sigma Delta Chi Outstanding Make Graduate in Journalism. A distinguished military graduate, Cosper was commissioned in the Army in June 1961, became an Airborne Ranger, served as Communications Officer for the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and later for the 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry, attaining the rank of Captain of Infantry. He was awarded the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and Army Medal of Commendation.

He married Nancy Furman in Beverly Hills, California on August 29, 1965, and after a one-day honeymoon, began training as a motion picture Assistant Director at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Although he and his family moved to the McKenzie area in 1970, he continued working in the motion picture business and was the First Assistant Director on such feature films as “Days of Heaven”, “Glory”, “Courage Under Fire”, “Gettysburg” and “The Thin Red Line.”

Between films, Cosper, with the help of his friends, built his own home, a geodesic dome. He was divorced in 1980 and became a part-time parent to his two children. He married the love of his life, Kathy Oliver Townsend, on September 13, 2014.

His interests included old-time music, dramatic films, western and military history, modern literature, and fly fishing for trout, steelhead, and salmon.

A Celebration of Life in the form of an old-time music jam will be held at the Upper McKenzie Community Center on Friday, September 8, 2023, from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Those in the community who knew him are welcome. PLEASE RSVP TO KATHY COSPER at [email protected] BY AUGUST 20, 2023. This is a dry event. The family respectfully asks that attendees do not bring alcohol.


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