A caravan of 25 cars drove down a neighborhood street last week to bid farewell to longtime Kingston Springs residents Steven and Laurie Cooper.
After 32 years living in south Cheatham, the Coopers are saying goodbye and moving to Raleigh, N.C.
“Our only child and his family will be only seven miles from us,” said Laurie. “We’ve missed family. So, we are very, very excited about being able to watch and participate in the lives of our grandsons.”
Laurie served as City Manager for Kingston Springs for 20 years, retiring in 2016. She first served as Parks Commissioner, a volunteer position. Three years later she applied for the City Manager position after longtime City Manager Audrey Beck retired.
“We have made some really good friends here in the 32 years that we have lived here,” said Laurie. “We will miss them immensely but are hoping that social media will keep us connected. Steven will also miss hiking the surrounding areas.
“Living in Kingston Springs has been a fabulous experience. It was the ideal small-town life as it is quiet, safe and friendly in a gorgeous setting. We enjoyed raising our son here and feel that this environment has contributed to his success. We enjoyed being able to participate with him in his activities.”
She said one of the highlights of her tenure as City Manager was developing the town’s parks.
“We also improved fire and police services,” she said. “We also focused on improving the roads with widening, sidewalks, drainage and an aggressive paving schedule. But all the progress that was made was done by a team. We had a strong team of leaders, commissioners who had vision and enthusiastic employees who were driven to achieve that vision. That team made every day challenging, interesting and highly enjoyable. That resulted in a lot of achievements and successes.”
Laurie said that Steven retired from music production in 2018. Also, he has written two books, edited three others and currently is the editor of a quarterly artifact journal.
Laurie has a great interest in art and pottery, and she said the couple plan to resume traveling after the pandemic.
“Since retiring we have visited Alaska, Colorado, Europe/UK and China and Tibet,” she said.
Longtime Kingston Springs City Recorder Debbie Finch, now retired herself, said she will miss the Coopers.
“Laurie and Steven are great people that have always loved our town and always worked hard to make Kingston Springs a step ahead,” said Finch. “I can’t say enough about Laurie and the things that she, along with the boards she worked under, accomplished for our town. We worked together for 20 years and during that time she became a dear friend. I will miss her and Steven. I wish them much happiness in their new adventure in life.”
Kingston Springs Parks and Recreation Director Brandy Miniat also said farewell to the Coopers.
“What stands out is their kindness,” said Miniat. “They are really great people.”