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Herschel Taliaferro Cooper

Obituary for Herschel Taliaferro Cooper

November 13, 1927 - August 23, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 91


Herschel Taliaferro Cooper passed away peacefully on August 23, 2019 following a long and productive life. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, as well as a steadfast friend who will be remembered for his intelligence, enthusiasm and wit. Taliaferro was born in San Antonio, Texas on November 13, 1927, the younger of two children of Herschel H. and Nella V Cooper. He graduated from Jefferson High School in San Antonio and enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin at age 16 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Geology. Following graduation, he served a tour of duty in the Army in Alaska, and then obtained a Master's degree in Geology at the University of Wyoming. There he honed his enthusiasm for the outdoors and in 1951, while rock climbing, met the love of his life, Virginia Hylton, whom he married in 1952. Taliaferro spent his early married life in Williston, North Dakota, working as a company geologist wildcatting in the Williston Basin, now an area known for the Bakkan Shale. Following the sudden death of his father, Taliaferro returned to his hometown of San Antonio in 1954 to take the reins of his father's consulting geology business—a tremendous responsibility for a young man not yet thirty--which he handled with skill and success. He resided in San Antonio for the rest of his life.

Taliaferro was a true Renaissance man: a self-taught amateur electrician, plumber, car mechanic and carpenter, who could repair almost anything with duct tape or J.B. Weld, and whose broad interests ranged from hiking, skiing, sailing, hunting and tennis, to card games, travel, philanthropy, the opera and the symphony. A man of integrity and intellect, Taliaferro was a trusted business partner, financial advisor, role model and mentor to many colleagues, friends and family. He was a kind and loyal friend, who will be remembered for his trademark phrase—spoken in all sincerity—"what can I do for you?"

Taliaferro reveled in his family, for whom he organized many memorable trips and other adventures, and to whom he generously devoted much time, energy and attention. He also greatly enjoyed entertaining friends and family at his homes in South Texas, Colorado and San Antonio. He will be dearly missed by many.

Taliaferro was predeceased by his parents, his wife of almost 60 years, Virginia, and his sister Charlotte Cooper. He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Cynthia and Dan O'Connor of San Antonio, and Kathy and Randy Lake of Houston; his grandsons and granddaughters-in-law Ryan and Stephani O'Connor of Austin, Michael and Anne Hause O'Connor of Atlanta, and Ethan Lake of Boulder, Colorado; one great-grandchild, Eleanor O'Connor; several extended family members and many friends.

The family wishes to thank Mercedes Jaramillo, and Guadalupe Cisneros for their many years of dedicated and caring help provided to Taliaferro. We are also grateful to Alex Renteria, Allison Abrega, Jackie Williams, Sally Renteria, Rebecca Infante and Ada Arch for their loving care in his last weeks and to Heart to Heart Hospice for their support.

In accordance with Taliaferro's wishes, there will be no funeral service. Arrangements are pending for a celebration of life.

In lieu of flowers, for those desiring, contributions may be made in memory of Taliaferro to the San Antonio Symphony, the Witte Museum, the Alamo Heights School Foundation, the San Antonio Museum of Art or the charity of one's choice.

Services Pending. Please check back for further information.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • the San Antonio Symphony, the Witte Museum, the Alamo Heights School Foundation, the San Antonio Museum of Art or the charity of one's choice.

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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