William Jay Cooper went to be with Jesus on Sunday, July 17, 2005, at the Barone Care Center at 78 years of age.
He was the firstborn son of William Burton and Ruth Lois (Rudd) Cooper. He was born in Enid, Okla., on Sept. 4, 1926. They moved to Richards in 1938 where Jay attended Richards school until his junior year, when Jay was drafted into the Navy Seabees for two years in World War II in Okinawa. He came back for three years as a reservist to finish high school in 1948 to graduate with his sister.
He married Lois Mae Houston on April 6, 1947, in Fort Scott, Kan., during Easter services. Jay and Lois had three children, Donald Gene Cooper Sr. and his wife, Linda, of Richards; Daniel Jay Cooper and his wife, Shorty, of Richards (who live on the family farm); and Deanna Marie Morrell of Richards. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Jay farmed in Richards all of his adult life until Alzheimer's retired him to Barone. He drove for Kraft Dairy and Richards school. He retired in 1992 from Show-Neff Tree Farm (Hammond Products) in Stockton. Jay had two sisters, Lois (Cooper) Houston and her husband, Wayne, of Richards, and Carrie Lawson and her husband, Charlie, of Milo; two brothers, Tom Cooper and his wife, Betty, of Richards, and Herb Cooper and his wife, Betty, of Fall River, Kan. He is also survived by other family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother and father; and grandson, Jerald Cooper. He was a member of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church at 54 and old 69 in Fort Scott, Kan.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Wednesday, July 20, at Evergreen Memorial Chapel with Pastor Rod Hillhouse officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in Richland Cemetery in Richards. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., today, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Nevada Barone Care Center in care of Evergreen Memorial Chapel, P.O. Box 894, Nevada, MO 64772.