John Douglas (JD) Cooper passed from his earthly life into heaven on Thursday afternoon January 18, 2018.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 PM Sunday, January 21, 2018, at Fellowship Baptist Church, 2619 TX Loop 7, Athens, Texas. Brother Don Childress and Pastor Mike Dean will officiate.
The burial will be in Oak Lawn Cemetery, 3100 FM 317 Athens, TX. Brother Mike Cooper will officiate.
The family will welcome visitors from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Saturday, January 20, 2018, at Fellowship Baptist Church.
JD greeted all with a smile and sparkle in his eye. It was ok if he didn't know you when he met you because after he talked with you for a small time he would discover common ground with you. JD enjoyed life and talking with friends new and old. He would often share his love of his family and express the many ways God had blessed his life.
Born in a small country home to Lon and Oma Lorena Peacock Cooper on May 8, 1930 in Whitney, TX, JD battled pneumonia at the age of 7 and wasn't expected to survive. Home care by a small town Doctor included cutting a hole in JD's back so that he could breathe. The treatment worked and JD lived his life with this large hole and just a few breathing issues. JD worked in the cotton fields with his younger brother, Charlon until 1947 when their father's health issues resulted in the family moving to Dallas where JD and his mother began working at Zenith Laundry which was managed by Wanda Breeland's stepfather. It was while working at Zenith that JD met the love of his life, Wanda Gwendolyn Breeland. A short courtship that began with a date to a wrestling match at the Dallas Sportatorium led to wedding bells in September 1948.
JD and Wanda soon added Wanda's younger brothers, Jimmy and Larry Breeland to their family. Jimmy and Larry loved and looked up to JD as a father who cared deeply for them.
JD was drafted by the Army in 1952 to work TDY, moving equipment through Holland, France, and Germany. JD received a Letter of Commendation for his service and was honorably discharged in 1954 after being injured in Germany.
When JD returned to Dallas he began working for the Ohio Chemical Company which was owned by Airco, now Linde Gases and Engineering where he grew his career with Airco as a salesman and later Corsicana, TX store manager. JD was best known for his ability to make any machine work and traveled the U.S. to work on welding equipment. After 43 years, at the age of 63, JD began to enjoy the life of a retiree.
JD adored his son, Joe David and his granddaughters Melody Marie Cooper Morton and Amber Michelle Cooper Polhans. His family was his world. JD loved spending time with Melody and Amber and shared many happy times with his girls and their families, Melody's husband Joshua Morton and their sons Jaxon and Jon-Tyler; and Amber's husband Derek Polhans and their sons Landon, Colton and Tyton. Laughing, playing dominos, cards, board games and just spending time with family was always a high priority for JD.
JD was generous in giving his time to his church and community. JD believed there weren't too many things that should keep you from doing God's work in a local church. At the age of 20 JD was ordained as a deacon at Worth Street Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. Throughout his life JD and Wanda served God at numerous churches, including Buckner Terrace Baptist, First Baptist Urbandale, Piedmont Baptist, Bethany Baptist, First Baptist Eustace, Lake Athens Baptist and Fellowship Baptist. JD and Wanda wore many hats during their years of service to the Lord.
JD worked side-by-side with Wanda in numerous ways within their communities. JD was a Shriner, a 32nd Degree Mason member of the Blue Lodge. Wanda was a member of Eastern Star. JD served Eustace as Mayor for 3 terms and it was during this tenure that Eustace began their "Keep Eustace Beautiful" program. JD and Wanda enjoyed many trips with the Tejas Travel Club where JD served as Wagon Master. JD cherished this time with such dear friends and he always returned home with many exciting tales of his grand adventures.
JD's faith and his commitment to family were pillars of his life. As JD's blessed life on this earth has drawn to a close we will miss him dearly. We rejoice in knowing that JD's eternal life has just begun and that he will welcome us to heaven when our journey here is complete.
Wanda, Joe, Melody, Amber and their families want to express deep gratitude to 9-1-1 First Responders and to JD's care givers at Trinity Valley Home Health, at ETMC, and most recently at Cedar Lake Nursing and Rehab. Your kindness has touched each of us.
Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Projector Fund at Fellowship Baptist Church Athens, TX or to Cedar Lake Nursing and Rehab.
Arrangements are by Hannigan Smith Funeral Home, 842 S.E. Loop 7, Athens, TX.
Published on January 20, 2018