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Recovery champion dies from COVID-19, vigil planned

'He changed my life emotionally, spiritually and mentally,' says a friend
Posted at 6:40 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 18:40:10-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — This week, Palm Beach County lost a leader on the front lines of recovery. Tyrone Cooper spent 26 years saving lives. Sadly, he lost his own battle with COVID-19.

It’s midday and like clockwork people are packing into About Recovery Center on Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach for narcotics anonymous.

“Every day he was here,” said Sharon Glover, Tyrone Cooper’s niece. “There wasn’t a day that he missed. This was a place for those who wouldn’t be judged if they felt like they wanted to use. People came here to tell their story.”

But for the last month, Cooper has not been leading the charge. The husband and grandfather of eight was hospitalized last month.

”We watched it deteriorate him. He was very healthy prior to this,” Glover said.

By phone Coopers wife confirmed he died Oct. 12. And the news spread to hundreds of lives he personally changed both in and outside the county.

”He changed my life emotionally, spiritually, and mentally,” said Caroline Wedges, Cooper’s friend. “He pulled people off the ground. He fed people, gave money to people - there’s so many people he’s helped I can’t count.”

For almost three decades Cooper owned and operated recovery centers and sober homes in Palm Beach County. Never a man about titles, people describe him as a mentor and life coach. WPTV got an exclusive look inside one of Cooper’s sanctuaries and properties.

“This was a place of happiness. A place of hope,” said Glover.

A site that bestowed many clean and sober recovery medallions that changed the lives of hundreds.

”I actually hid here when I was in a domestic violence relationship,” Glover said. “And that’s how I got the keys…We all know we lost a hero. We lost somebody who is a phenomenal person.”

Cooper’s legacy lives on. Glover wants to start a non-profit for abuse victims. Also, a vigil will be held at About Recovery Center at 2945 Australian Ave. on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. to honor the life of the recovery champion.