Gary Kenneth “Buddy” Cooper, a longtime resident of Wagoner, Oklahoma passed away Sunday, March 16, 2014 in Muskogee at the age of 79. He was born on November 18, 1934 in Nail, Arkansas to Guy Trimble Cooper and Pauline Francis (Boomer) Cooper. Buddy moved with his family to Wagoner County at the age of three. He attended Wagoner Public Schools and graduated with the class of 1952. After graduating, he worked at many jobs working on farms and hauling hay and wheat for neighbors and friends. At the age of 23 he was drafted to the United States Army where he spent time in Germany and the Army National Guard and later received an Honorable Discharge. Upon returning home, Buddy was introduced to Hazel Sue Turley on a double date with his longtime friend, Jack Freeman and his wife, Maxine. Buddy and Sue were married six months later on August 25, 1961 at the Church of Christ in Wagoner. They celebrated over 52 years of marriage.
Buddy worked as a self-taught steel machinist at Continental Industries in Tulsa from which he retired in 1998 after 34 years of service.
His true passion was being on the family farm. He was a very giving person and always good to his family. They kindly remember, while Buddy was serving in Germany, the family crops failed and he sent money home to his parents to help keep the family going. Buddy was a faithful son to his mother after the passing of his father in 1970.
Buddy was a longtime member of Wagoner Church of Christ.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Guy “Judge” Cooper Jr and his wife, Karen.
The family requests memorials to be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 841125, Dallas, TX 75284-1125, or online at www.donate.heart.org, or to Church of Christ, 901 E Cherokee, Wagoner, OK 74467.
Buddy is survived by his wife, Sue, of the home; his two sons, Gary Cooper Jr and wife, Beth of Muskogee, Mike Cooper and wife, Shelly of Wagoner; his four grandchildren, Clinton Cooper, Cady Cooper, Kenny Cooper, and Molly Cooper; his two brothers, Frank Cooper Sr and wife Patty of Wagoner, Bobby Dale Cooper and wife, Jane, of OKC; four sisters, Naida Dee Conner of Wagoner, Phyllis Redfern of Broken Arrow, Carolyn Sue Holmes of Wagoner, Martie Eubanks Drake and husband, John of Wagoner. Known as 'Uncle Buddy' to his nieces, nephews, and their spouses and children who he loved like his own children, John, Guy, and Debbie Harshaw, Robin and Randy Cooper, Dr. David Redfern Jr, Pam Bennetch, Lisa Keith and Cindy Redfern-Weigel, Sherrie Brown, Frank Cooper Jr, Glen, Joe, and Jeremy Holmes, and Kellie Craft, Melanie Wicks, Mackenzie Haff, Megan Rogers, John Cooper, Penni Leach, and Matthew Cooper; his double cousin, Hazel Brown of Kansas City; numerous great nieces, great nephews, his three brothers-in-law, JW Turley and wife, Peggy of Broken Arrow, Paul Turley and wife, Sharon of Muskogee, and Jack Ensminger of Broken Arrow; his three sisters-in-law, Mary Gilmore of Muskogee, Lillian Turley of Wagoner, Louise Manley and husband, Mike of Omaha, NE; his nieces and nephews, Lois Ann Turley, Linda Waggoner, Dale Gilmore, Vickie Kennedy, Ronnie Gilmore, Cindy Keith, Jack Ensminger Jr, Amy Bell, Allen David Wallace, Jerry Turley, Paul Turley Jr, Stephen Turley, and John Manley; numerous other family members and friends.
The family will receive friends from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the Church of Christ, 901 E Cherokee, Wagoner, OK.
Funeral services celebrating Buddy's life will be at 1:00 p.m., Friday, March 21, 2014 at the Church of Christ in Wagoner with Minister Dan Fredman and Minister Don Fowler officiating. A private family interment will be at Fort Gibson National Cemetery with Jack Freeman, Tim Jacobs, Dee Freeman, Fred Combites Jr, Gene Myers, and Doug Kelley serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Spuddy Wright, Floyd Young, Raymond Essary, Bob Tackett, Frank Everett, Jessie Harris, Carl Meyer, Earl Thomas, and LaVoy Young.
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 N. York Street, Muskogee. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.