VINTON–Eddie Cooper who has worked in the Town of Vinton Public Works Department since 1973 retired on March 1.
“Eddie Cooper gave forty years of service and dedication to the Town of Vinton,” said Gary Woodson, Vinton’s Director of Public Works. “I am very thankful for his contributions to the community and his professional family here at Public Works. He performed his duties with skill and precision in the best and worst of weather conditions. He maintained a light spirit and shared smiles with all of us here in the department. We will miss him dearly.”
Cooper was born in Roanoke, but raised in Vinton. He joined the department upon return from a four year deployment with the Navy from 1968 until 1972 during the Vietnam War. His father also served the Town in the Public Works Department.
“He has been a valuable employee,” said Mike Faw, Utilities Manager for the Public Works Department. “He did a host of different jobs for the Town. He has done just about everything from water to sewer to recycling. When I came to work here, he showed me manholes I didn’t know existed in alleys I didn’t know existed.”
For the past ten to fifteen years, Cooper has worked mainly in Vinton’s recycling program. Last year Vinton was ranked first in the state among 324 cities, towns, and counties for recycling efforts Sixty-six percent of waste was recycled in Vinton for the last reporting year of 2011.
“I enjoyed working for the public for forty years,” said Cooper. “It gave me a good feeling to work in recycling. We accomplished something good. It’s now shipshape.”
Cooper worked with many different Public Works Directors, mayors, and Town Managers over the years. When he first joined Public Works in Vinton, there was little modern equipment. Most work was completed by hard labor.
Cooper has plans to start off his retirement years by just relaxing and “piddling around.”
“Eddie was a top-notch employee,” said former Public Works Director Mike Kennedy. “He was always dependable and reliable. Forty years of service– that’s like a Chapter of Vinton Public Works History moving on to new endeavors. I always enjoyed working with Eddie and wish him well.”
“He has been a connection to a time before computers sat on most every desk, before the Town produced its own water, and before curbside recycling collection was a regular service,” said Joey Hiner, Assistant Public Works Director. “He reminds us that Washington Avenue was not always a 4 lane road.”
“ All those years of experience have provided Eddie with an historical perspective that has been useful to other employees; many times co-workers have gone to him with questions knowing that he was well equipped to answer,” said Hiner. “Quiet dedication is a term that fits Ed. He has taken care of his duties with little fuss, and always made sure that he was here to do them.”