Laurel H. Cooper, 66, a former purchases manager for the City of Philadelphia, died of cancer Feb. 16 at her home in Mt. Airy.

Mrs. Cooper retired in 2003 after completing a 36-year career in the City’s Procurement Department, rising from management trainee to purchases manager.

Among her projects in the department were the purchases of the first bulletproof vests for the Police Department, the first Fairmount Park trolleys and the original tungsten lights that outlined the rowing clubhouses on Boathouse Row. She also trained several Procurement Department Commissioners.

Mrs. Cooper also was an accomplished classical pianist and had been an organist at several churches in the Philadelphia area. An avid scuba diver, she extended her range from the Jersey shore to the Caribbean and New Guinea – even swimming with schooling sharks in the Coral Sea.

She was a supporter during her life of the Women for Greater Philadelphia’s “Concerts by Candlelight” at Laurel Hill Mansion, the Philadelphia Orchestra and, more recently, the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Anthony Cooper. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, 100 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, the Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L St., NW, Washington, DC 20037, or a local animal rescue organization. – WF