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“Dear Tom,I am so sorry to hear of Mixi's death. I remember her (and you and your kids) fondly from my childhood days in Kent. My deepest condolences...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Marcy Baron - Bloomington, IN

“In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. ”
2 of 6 | Posted by: Nariyoshi Hiraoka - Kailua, HI

“What a lovely tribute to a gentle and amazing woman. It touched my heart.May she rest in Love.... amidst her beautiful flowers. ”
3 of 6 | Posted by: A friend

“May the God of peace of give comfort, support and bless the family during this difficult time of grief. Please accept my sincere condolences. Rom.15...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: TJ

“Offering our deepest sympathies during this time. ”
5 of 6 | Posted by: The Staff of Bissler & Sons Funeral Home - OH

“Thinking of all of you. Such wonderful memories. New Year's Day celebrations featuring delicious Hawaiian dishes! Mrs. Cooperrider and my Mom having...Read More »
6 of 6 | Posted by: Kristin Malmisur Jacobs


Miwako ("Mix") Cooperrider, 88, of Kent, Ohio, passed away January 6, 2018 at University Hospital Portage Medical Center in Ravenna.
Miwako was born August 21, 1929, in Hilo, Hawaii, the fifth of six children to Kyosuke and Teiko (Saita) Kunimura, both of whom were born and raised in Japan.
She attended Hilo Union Elementary School, Hilo Intermediate School, and graduated from Hilo High School. In her early years she attended school in Japan for one year while living with her grandmother in a suburb of Tokyo. During her high school years she attended Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu for one year.
She came up to the mainland to attend Grinnell College in Iowa, where she received a bachelor's degree, majoring in biology. She earned her master's degree in botany from the University of Iowa.
In 1957, she published in The American Journal of Botany an important early paper on the subject of introgression. Her study focused on introgressive hybridization occurring between two species of oak trees in southeastern Iowa.
While in graduate school she met and married Tom Cooperrider, a fellow graduate student in botany.
A skilled artist, she did the botanical drawings for her husband's book on Iowa pteridophytes, and later the drawings for an anatomy laboratory manual written by Kent State Professor Dorcas Anderson.
Beginning in 1958, she directed the Kent State University Herbarium in the Department of Biological Sciences for some 30 years. She oversaw its growth from a collection of 1,500 specimens to a major teaching and research collection. She accessioned its 50,000th specimen in 1989. In 1974, a study conducted for the National Science Foundation placed the Kent State Herbarium among the top herbaria in the nation in a group called "National Resource Collections."
She was a member of Sigma Xi, honorary scientific society, and a life member of The Nature Conservancy.
Mix was devoted to her family and took great pride in being a wife and mother. She enjoyed making her Kent home a reflection of the family's roots in the Midwest, Hawaii and Japan. She and Tom were married for sixty-four years. They had two children, Julie and John. For several years the family included also a beloved fox terrier named Blue.
She is survived by her husband Tom of Kent; daughter Julie (Clair Burns) of Seattle; son John of Chicago; her brother Sadao (Betty) Kunimura of Cincinnati; sister-in-law Sue Cooperrider of Tucson; grandson Clair Matthew (Heather) Burns of Seattle; and numerous nieces, nephews and their children. She was pre-deceased by her parents, her brothers Hajime and Tetsuro, and her sisters Atsuko and Chikako.
During the year 2017 she was a resident of Altercare in Brimfield. She had a cheerful room with many flowers and photographs of flowers. She loved watching the changing seasons from her window which provided a view of neighboring fields and woodlands.
Her last days were spent peacefully under Hospice care.
The family extends its deepest gratitude to the caring staff members of Altercare, University Hospital, and Senior Helpers who looked after Mix during her final year. We thank also our dear friends and neighbors for their help and kindness over the past several years.
A memorial service is planned for May 20, 2018, when spring flowers are in bloom (details later).
We will miss her laughter and her gentle ways.
Arrangements made with Bissler & Sons Funeral Home.

A memorial service and reception to honor the life of Miwako "Mix" Cooperrider will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018, 2-4 p.m., in the McGilvrey Room of the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, 215 S. DePeyster Street, in Kent, Ohio. Small bouquets of garden flowers or wildflowers are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. Memorial donations can be made to: Herbarium Endowment Fund, c/o The KSU Foundation, 350 S. Lincoln Street, Kent, Ohio 44242.