Thomas G. Cooper

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thomas G. Cooper, 87, a former resident of Richards, Mo., and more recently of Cameron, Mo., died Wednesday, Feb. 4, at the Missouri Veterans' Home, in Cameron. He was born Sept. 17, 1927, in Enid, Okla., the son of William Burton Cooper and Ruth Lois Rudd Cooper. Tom graduated from Richards High School and later served with the United States Army. Following his military service, he married Betty JoAnn Rye on Dec. 25, 1949, at Richards. Tom was employed as shop foreman for John Deere for more than 50 years. In addition, he also operated his own farm. He enjoyed camping. Tom was a long-time member of the Richards Christian Church where he had served as elder.

Survivors include two sons, Mike Cooper and wife, Judy, of Fort Scott, Kan., and Thomas J. Cooper and Debra Snowden, of Deerfield, Mo.; two daughters, Pam Speer and husband, John, of Redfield, Kan., and Debbie Ebersold and husband, Dennis, of Cameron, Mo.; 15 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Also surviving are a brother, Herb Cooper, and wife, Betty, of Fall River, Kan.; and a sister, Lois Houston and husband, Wayne, of Richards. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, on Aug. 18, 2008. He was also preceded in death by a grandson, Michael Speer; a granddaughter, Melissa Speer Jackson; a great-granddaughter; Laura Kay Jackson; a brother, Jay Cooper; and a sister, Carrie Lawson.

The Rev. Bryan Keith will conduct funeral services at 11 a.m., Monday, Feb. 9, at the Richards Christian Church. Burial will follow in the Richland Cemetery, east of Richards, where military honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post No. 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer's Association or the American Cancer Society and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701.

Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online tribute wall at