Arlene B. Cooper, retired state eligibility supervisor and volunteer with Model Cities, dies

 Arlene B. Cooper was a Baltimore volunteer with the Model Cities program and enjoyed travel. She died Sept. 17.

Arlene B. Cooper, a retired supervisor for the Maryland Department of Social Services, died Sept. 17 at Sinai Hospital from a heart attack.

The longtime Northwest Baltimore resident was 77.


Arlene Burton was born and raised in Baltimore, the daughter of Penrose Burton, a longshoreman, and Beatrice Burton, a licensed practical nurse at the old Rosewood State Hospital.

She attended St. Pius V parochial school and graduated in 1958 from Carver Vocational High School. She then attended what is now Coppin State University.


Family members said that as a young high school student, Mrs. Cooper exhibited a “strong work ethic.” She worked as a babysitter in Mount Washington and assisted her mother who had a second career as a weekend caterer on Gibson Island.

After working as an administrative assistant, Mrs. Cooper joined the state’s Department of Social Services in 1970, and rose to become eligibility supervisor, overseeing work to determine eligibility of applicants for various programs. She retired in 1985.

The Morning Sun

The Morning Sun


Get your morning news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the

She married her high school sweetheart, Hershel D. Cooper, in 1960. A salesman, he died in 2015.

Mrs. Cooper, who lived in Northwest Baltimore’s Glen neighborhood, volunteered with Model Cities, a program that emerged from anti-poverty efforts of the President Lyndon Johnson administration.

In addition to being a crossword puzzle enthusiast, family members said she enjoyed traveling, especially to the Caribbean.

For more than 30 years she attended Mass at the Roman Catholic Shrine of St. Judge on West Saratoga Street.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 1 at Estep Bros. Funeral Home, 1300 Eutaw Place, Baltimore.

Mrs. Cooper is survived by two sons, Andre Cooper of Northwest Baltimore and Eric Cooper of York, Pa.; a daughter, Stacye Cooper of Baltimore; a brother, Sherman Burton of Coldpsring-Montebello; two grandsons; and a great-grandson.