In Memoraim Sandra R. Cooer, 84 December 19, 1937 – October 13, 2022

In Memoraim

Sandra R. Denicore, 84

December 19, 1937 – October 13, 2022

ONEONTA – On December 19, 1937, Sandra “Sandy” Rae Cooper arrived in Elmira, New York – full of life and purpose – as the middle child of her loving parents, Beatrice and Merle Cooper.

After giving everything she had to give, Sandy left this world 84 years later on October 13, 2022, as the spouse of one, the mother of six, the grandmother of twenty, the sister of two, and a friend to hundreds.

Like everyone, Sandy arrived in this world with nothing, and she left with nothing.  What Sandy left behind on this planet, however, is immeasurable.

Sandy was a life-long New Yorker.  She was born in Elmira, raised in Dannemora, and eventually settled in Oneonta where she raised a family with her husband of 62 years.

Sandy graduated from the State University College at Cortland in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.  Following graduation, Sandy began teaching elementary physical education in Plattsburgh, New York.

A year later, Sandy married her hometown sweetheart, Richard “Dick” Denicore, and moved to Schenevus where Sandy taught physical education at Worcester and Schenevus schools.  In 1961, Sandy and Dick were blessed with their first of six children.  Although Sandy’s days were mostly filled with raising children, she found time to work at Gilbert Lake State Park, the YMCA, and J.R. Frazier & Sons.

As her children started to leave the nest, Sandy embarked on another journey, earning a master’s degree in counselor education in 1995 from the State University College at Oneonta.  With her new degree in hand, Sandy became a counselor at BOCES and later a special needs coordinator at the State University College at Oneonta.

Later in life, Sandy worked several years as a volunteer chaplain at Fox Hospital, comforting and counseling patients and their families through difficult times.  But perhaps Sandy’s greatest joy was instilling the love of music in young minds through the teaching of piano to dozens of local children.

Sandy was an avid skier, tennis player, hiker, swimmer, and all-around outdoors woman.  She was always on the go and never stopped moving until God unexpectedly summoned her home.

Sandy’s greatest legacy, however, was her caring, compassion, and love for people and other living things.  This was Sandy’s passion.  In fact, Sandy’s life was so focused on the needs of others that she frequently had to be reminded to care for herself.

Sandy’s life-long career of caring for others started as a young lifeguard on Chazy Lake in the Adirondacks where she saved a new swimmer from drowning.  From this early age, Sandy’s passion for tending to the needs of those less fortunate grew ever larger.  Even the COVID pandemic did not stop Sandy.  At 82 years young, she hand-delivered school lunches to students remotely learning from home during the spring of 2020.

While on earth, Sandy recognized injustice, she empowered the differently abled, and she assisted the forgotten and downtrodden.  And, whether there was a skinned knee of a child, a broken heart of a friend, or a fractured wing of a bird, Sandy was always the “go to” person for anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.

Now that Sandy is gone, the only thing that remains here that matters is the love Sandy shared, the compassion she showed, the humbleness, her gratitude, her helpfulness, and her kindness.  That is the legacy Sandy left here that hopefully everyone will remember and emulate in her absence.

Sandy’s final act of giving was to donate the last thing she had left to give.  Upon her death, she posthumously donated her liver to an unknown recipient.  We can only hope that the transplant will be a success and that the recipient received a second chance at life.  That would make Sandy happy.

Sandy is survived by:  her husband, Dick Denicore (Oneonta, NY); her daughter, Ann Denicore-Rateb, Ann’s spouse, Al, and their three children, Alex, Sophia, and Lucas (Ithaca, NY); her son, Mark Denicore, Mark’s spouse, Amy, and their three children, Sophie, Daisy, and Tucker (Waterford, VA); her daughter, Amy Vanetti, Amy’s spouse, Damian, and their four children, Megan, Micaela, Allie, and Ava (Cazenovia, NY); her son, Michael Denicore, Michael’s spouse, Kim, and their four children, Jackson, Ella, Abby, and Joseph (Doylestown, PA); her daughter, Molly Denicore, Molly’s spouse Paul, and their two children, Lucy and Charlie (Oneonta, NY); her daughter, Emily Eisenberg, Emily’s spouse, Jay, and their four children, Julia, Carter, Amelia, and Violet (Northport, NY); her sister, Barbara Martin (Dannemora, NY); her brother, Michael Cooper (Milford, MA); and numerous other nieces, nephews, and relatives.

An “open house” to celebrate Sandy’s life will be held at the SUNY Oneonta’s College Camp (119 Hoffman Road, Oneonta, NY 13820) on Saturday, November 26, 2022, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  As Sandy would insist, everyone is welcome.  For more information about Sandy’s Celebration, contact Mark Denicore at

In remembrance of Sandy – if you are so inclined – please send a donation to Richard Denicore at 20 S. Belmont Circle, Oneonta, NY 13820 made payable to “Changing Latitudes, Inc.” for the construction of a bench and the planting of a tree.  The bench and tree will be located in a public place in Oneonta for anyone who may need a moment in the shade to rest and reflect.

If a life is measured by how much a person will be missed, Sandy lived a good one.  Our collective hearts ache for Sandy, Mom, and Nanny, but we look forward to seeing how her seeds of compassion for others will exponentially grow here on earth for eternity.

One thought on “In Memoraim Sandra R. Cooer, 84 December 19, 1937 – October 13, 2022

  1. RLJ

    What a wonderful lady, didn’t have the pleasure of ever meeting her.
    Lived in Oneonta in the 60’s, now in AZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Prove you're not a robot: *