A young man for Christ remembered
Robert Duncan ’21
On September 2, 2018 around 3:30 PM, Cooper Davis Potts, a sophomore at Seven Lakes High School and one of my best friends, was riding in an ATV with his friend when the driver lost control, and it flipped over into a retention pond. Cooper was unable to make it up to the surface and drowned.
The loss of him is devastating, but those who knew him have the duty to tell others what kind of person he was.
He was a “Man for Others.”
He always searched for ways to brighten the people around him. He prayed every night, oftentimes for people he knew needed help, even if they didn’t know him.
Cooper and I went on ski trips during spring break for a number of years together. We both loved to ski, so we would go as fast as we could down blue runs and through the trees, hitting mounds of snow and trying to see who could get more air. Often, I would lose control in mid-air, and fall face first into the snow. After he had finished laughing, he always came over to me and asked if I was ok, helping me get my equipment back together, helping me up. He was always ready to lend a helping hand when someone needed it.
Cooper played lacrosse for Seven Lakes High School, switching between varsity and junior varsity. Earlier this year, Cooper made the trip to Strake Jesuit for a lacrosse game. I had left right after school that day, missing the chance to say hi to him and show him around our school. Nevertheless, he went up to some of the players on Strake Jesuit JV lacrosse team, complete strangers to him, and asked if they knew me. When they said that they did, he asked them to say hi to me. He went through all the trouble, to go up to people he didn’t know, people who might not know me, people from the opposing team, just to encourage them to say hi to me.
This is the sort of small but significant kindness Cooper performed all day, every day I knew him. His smile was a warm hearth to everyone on the coldest days, his energy a light for those caught in darkness. He was the first person to comfort you if you were hurting, regardless of how well he knew you. There were almost 300 people attending his funeral, some I had never even seen. Almost every single person at his funeral had been touched by him in some way, but he had never bragged about how popular he was or how many people he had helped.
That’s the kind of person he was, always stepping out of his comfort zone, even for the little things, to make sure that other people knew that there was someone who cared for them. Cooper always brought 110% energy to every single relationship he had, always focusing on what he could do for anyone.
Cooper’s life taught me many things, most importantly that living a life for others is more fulfilling than living one for yourself.
Many will say, “You only live once, so you might as well make the most of it.” In other words, do what you want, live for yourself, do what makes you happy because you get only one chance on this Earth.
However, being the lifelong friend of Cooper taught me that a life consumed with looking out for Number 1 is a wasted life. As a “Man for Others,” Cooper lived briefly but richly.
In this time of grief for me, there is only one Salvation, one true Hope in Jesus Christ and in the recollection of the joy His servant Cooper brought to the lives of so many.