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Jerry Allen Cooper
21 Apr 1942 - 23 Jan 2009
© Davis Funeral Home
Reprinted with permission

Jerry Allen Cooper, 66, went to his final destination, joining Betty, Ben and Tank, on Friday, January 23, 2009. Jerry was surrounded by family and friends at his home.

The son of the late Shelby Cooper and Mildred Jackson Cooper, Jerry was born on April 21, 1942 in Nowata, OK.

He was raised in Cushing, graduating from Cushing High School in 1960 as most likely to succeed.

Jerry served in the United States Army in the early 60’s.

Jerry was united in marriage to Betty Vassar on September 23, 1961 in Cushing. To this union two daughters, Stacy and Kristi, were born. Betty preceded him in death on August 26, 1996.

Jerry was baptized in and a longtime member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church.

He was a member of the American Birding Association “ABA”, the Audubon Society, the Elks, the Cushing Genealogical Society and Ancestry.com.

He had worked as an area supervisor for Kerr-McGee in Crescent for 10 years during the Karen Silkwood era, at which time he resigned and moved his family back to Cushing.

Jerry was featured in the October 20, 1977 edition of the Rolling Stone magazine.

Before retirement, Jerry had owned and operated a full service gas station and parts store in Cushing.

Jerry enjoyed birding, researching ancestry, writing, reading and especially traveling. He would plan his next vacation before he had even unpacked from the one he returned from. Jerry’s traveling included all 50 United States as well as Africa, Peru, Belize, and in November of 2008, China. During Jerry’s 15 year retirement, he wrote short stories and a book titled The Birdfinder, published in 1995 by the American Birding Association. Because of his meticulous research style and his ability to track down gravestones no matter where they rest, he was able to trace his families ancestry line back to Adam and Eve.

On February 2, 2005, Jerry was interviewed in the Cimarron Valley Newspaper, as one of “Cushing’s Most Interesting People”.

Survivors include his two daughters, Stacy Boyles and her husband Jay of Cushing and Kristi Cooper-Johnson and her husband Eric of Guymon; five grandchildren, Hayden Allen Boyles and Shelby Lorene Boyles both of Cushing, Arrington Vassar Johnson, Emmery Anderson Johnson and Finley Cooper Johnson all of Guymon; two brothers, Shelby “Don” Cooper and his wife Jaynell of Cushing and Wayne Cooper and his wife Lori of Oklahoma City; two brothers-in-law, Ben Vassar and his wife Joy and Bill Vassar and his wife Linda both of Cushing; one sister-in-law Kathy Vassar of Cushing; loving companion, Nancy Wells; nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends, and special caregiver, Cherie Kelly.

In addition to his parents and wife of 35 years, Jerry was preceded in death by his mother and father-in-law, Della and Bob Vassar.

After a private graveside service, a celebration of Jerry’s life will be held on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 11:00 A.M. in the First Baptist Church with Reverend George Brock, III officiating.

Lifelong friends and casketbearers will be John Carver, Dale Cotham, Delbert Patterson, Willard Patterson, Bill Cubbage and Brett Anderson.

The family will greet friends on Monday evening from 5-7 in the Floyd Family Center, east of the funeral home.

Memorial contributions, in Jerry’s honor, may be made to the National Audubon Society, 225 Varick Street, 7th Floor, Department W, New York New York, 10014.

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