Obituary: Katherine Cooper Heriot, July 5, 1949 – May 27, 2019
On the evening of May 27, in Denver, after a valiant battle with leukemia and just shy of her 70th birthday, the world lost a smart, strong, and loving woman. Katherine (“Kate”) Eldred Cooper Heriot was the second of five children born to William B. Cooper Jr. and Judith Eldred Cooper. Raised in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Kate’s deep New England roots trace back to the Mayflower.
After graduating from Lawrence High School (Falmouth) in 1967 and working short term in Boston and Centerville, Kate followed her dream of going West, and after accepting an English scholarship, enrolled at Adams State College in Alamosa. It was there that she would meet James “Jim” Heriot, a Navy Veteran of the Vietnam War. By the time she reached her early 30s, she and Jim had built a house in Red Cliff, the town that was her home, the place she raised her children, and that is and was populated by people she considered family.
Kate loved hiking to the high lakes of the Holy Cross Wilderness and walking in the mountains of the White River National Forest. The spring runoff and the return of the hummingbirds in the summer refreshed her spirit every year. Kate was always happy to be with the people that she loved, including her children, their friends, and the members of the Beck, Salazar, and Trujillo families. Always kind, Kate loved all living creatures — especially her dogs and cats — and even taught her children and grandson not to kill spiders. A talented seamstress, Kate sewed her own clothes in high school, made a dress for her sister, and produced several beautiful quilts which her family enjoys today. Kate used her aptitude for numbers to work as a bookkeeper for local builders. Most summers, she returned to her childhood home in Falmouth to see her family and swim in the waters of Buzzards Bay.
Kate was preceded in death by her father, William “Bill” Cooper, Jr. She is survived by her mother, Judith Cooper; her three children, Kathryn “Katie” DeBord, Katherine “Trina” Heriot Hoffer (Brian), and Thomas Heriot; and her two grandchildren, Ethan and Eliana. Kate is also survived by her loving aunt, Cynthia Haigh of Falmouth; her four siblings, Amy (Craig) Barry of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, William Cooper of Falmouth, Matthew (Mary) Cooper of Swansea, Massachusetts, and Douglas (Katherine) Cooper of Falmouth. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in Red Cliff, Colorado, in late July or early August, on a date yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kate’s name to the Denver Dumb Friends League at: https://www.ddfl.org/ or, Dumb Friends League, 2080 S. Quebec St., Denver, CO 80231.
Gore Creek since 2013 has been listed on the state’s list of “impaired waterways.” Several years of work are paying off, but getting off the list has become more difficult.