NASHVILLE - Donald Lee Cooper, Sr., 73, passed away Friday, June 30, 2017. He was born in Pitt County on March 30, 1944. He was the son of the late Randall Lee Cooper and Jo Frances Brady Cooper.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife, Linda Stallings Cooper of Nashville, NC. They were highschool sweethearts and married for 54 years.
Donald had a great love for his family and is survived by his children: Melicent Cooper of Louisburg, NC, Denise Denton of Rocky Mount, NC, Donnie Cooper and wife, Jamie of Gardner, KS, and Valerie Mantas Edwards and husband, Benton of Wilson, NC. He had 9 grandchildren; Thomas Davis of Tampa, Fl., Vincent and Zoe Churchill of Louisburg, NC, Zachary, Mia, and Caroline Denton of Rocky Mount, NC Astrid Cooper of Gardner, KS, Cameron and Turner Ward of Wilson, NC.
He is also survived by his devoted sisters: Joann Moye (Ray) of Wilson, NC Peggy Murfee (Ray) of Halifax, NC, and Norma Blalock of Norwood, NC. Donald was preceded in death by a sister, Frances Petree of Tarboro, NC. He also had many beloved nieces and nephews.
Donald had a great passion for family. Most importantly, he loved genealogy. He was a member of the Pitt County and Edgecombe County Genealogical Societies. He spent his retirement years "digging roots" not only for his family but for many other families. He "never met a stranger." He dedicated most of his time doing genealogy research that lead him to spend many hours searching through cemeteries, libraries, and courthouses. He felt very honored and proud to teach local seminars and classes so that others could learn how to research their family history. He gathered much information and recorded most of his findings, leaving a paper trail for further generations to enjoy. The research he completed will be donated to different genealogical organizations that he asked to respectfully carry on his research and distribute accordingly so that others could enjoy and learn about their "roots."
Donald's favorite past times were sports, fast cars, and old movies. He played football in high school, softball for the local industrial league, and spent many hours watching his grandchildren playing sports. Everyone was aware of his presence on the fields because he was a proud "Papa." His love of cars began early as a teenager and continued through his life span. He spent many hours helping friends and family when they experienced car problems. He loved to drive fast and enjoyed
NASCAR. He would often say "I'm straightening out the curves" while others in the car were experiencing the "White Knuckle Syndrome." Donald also loved old movies. His favorite movie was "Shane" and he felt very fortunate that he recently traveled to the site of the filmmaking of the movie.
Donald was a fighter and we are blessed that he is no longer suffering; he will be greatly missed and were all better for having him be a part of our lives.
A memorial service was held Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Nashville Baptist Church with Reverend Kenny Byrd officiating. Visitation with family and friends will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Donations in honor of Donald may be done so either by mail, email, online or by phone using the following information:
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio Street, Suite 500, Chicago, Illinois 60611, Phone: 866.733.6741, Fax: 866.587.9158, Website: www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org
Donations may also be made to: Nashville Baptist Church, 512 East Washington Street, Post Office Box 637, Nashville, North Carolina 27856, Phone: 252.459.3403
The family would like to thank Nash General Hospital, his doctors and nurses, Nash County Home Health, Nash County EMS and their Community Paramedic Program for the wonderful and compassionate care he received during his illness.