In Loving Memory of
Jo Cooper
March 7, 1929 - August 26, 2007
       The family and friends celebrate her life and love in the wake of her recent passing. Jo was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 7, 1929 to Loa Catherine and Walter Edwin Lees. She had three sisters, Loa Betty Woodbridge, Ariel Burt Watson, (deceased), and Charlotte Jane (Billie) Hicks, (deceased).

     She is survived by her husband, Ralph Cooper, two daughters, Elsah Cort & Peggy Rae Hunt, both of Three Rivers, California and a son, Stephen Lees Cooper, of Altadena, California. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Sade Gabriela Cooper and Sean Gabriel Cooper, of Altadena, California.

September 30, 2007
Delhaven Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
15302 East Francisquito Avenue
La Puente, CA 91744
       Delhaven Christian Church plans to celebrate the life of Jo Cooper during our regular worship service on Sunday, September 30th. Worship begins at 10:30 am and is followed by a time of food and fellowship. We do hope that you will be able to attend. Jo was very special to us and I know she was special to you as well.
Maria Tafoya, Pastor

A Celebration of Jo Cooper
Delhaven Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
September 30, 2007
Pastor Maria P. Tafoya

We haven't known Jo Cooper very long. We just met her not quite two years ago, when she started attending our Sunday worship services. But we know that whenever someone new comes into the family, change happens. It may not seem like much of a change at the beginning - it might be as small as a new dish at the potlucks - but often it is a permanent and lasting change.

Jo Cooper wasn't here long, but she's caused changes that will be long term. When Jo came, we began to make a large print worship bulletin. We still are making it, just in case someone comes who needs it. Jo made us think harder about being really welcoming to people who don't see really well. We have information on Braille, and on agencies that serve the blind on our awareness table now - because of Jo Cooper.

We were used to wheelchairs, but before Jo came, our wheelchair folks usually sat behind the back pew and off to the side. Jo sat right in the center where we had to notice her, and pay attention. You see, Jo knew she didn't have to sit in the back. The aisles are wide enough to get through even with a wheelchair in them. And because Jo sat where she did, Howard, also in a wheelchair, was free to sit where ever he chooses to sit.

When Jo wanted to be baptized, we adjusted. We Disciples baptize by immersion, but obviously she couldn't get up to the baptistery. I sought help from others, and learned how to baptize by sprinkling. And again, she cleared the way for Howard's baptism.

Jo Cooper - wheelchair bound, nearly blind, suffering from diseases of the heart and lungs, was a leader. An editorial writing, human rights fighting, strong and determined leader. Her own life experiences sent her out to work for others like her - determined to let everyone know that “YOU are worthy” - no matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter what your abilities and talents, no matter that others may see only your limitations. YOU are worthy, and YOU can do whatever you want to do. Jo did it - so can we all. Her example gave me courage and strength, although I don't think she realized just how strong an impact she made on me.
  There are things we'll always remember about Jo. We'll remember that Dodgers cap she wore every Sunday. I teased her about it sometimes, but y'know, that's her team. On her last day, in her last moments, Ralph put that cap on her and she wore it to the end. It was cremated along with her.

We'll remember that even blind, and barely strong enough to hold a pen, Jo volunteered to take over our card ministry until June was well enough to take it back. What an example she is for all of us.

The music we are sharing today was music Jo loved, or music that speaks the message that Jo spoke. And in the special insert are the readings from the Daily Word magazine that she heard on her last two days among us. How amazing that the scripture reading for today is also one that she heard and was so moved by the day before she passed.

And the reading from the day of passing says words that I can hear her saying - Listen:

Daily Word - Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Voice

We are all spiritual beings created by God and worthy of good. The voice of wisdom leads us in overcoming any challenge of the human condition. It flows as a sacred language of the heart and soul that reminds us that we all share in the inheritance of God's good-despite any perceived differences of who we are and what we deserve. Even one clear and discernable voice speaking the truth of the worthiness of all humankind sparks a like response from the hearts of many others. With such reverence for one another, we have spiritual insight that reveals the wonder of life. We see the true picture of all humankind: we are spiritual beings created by God and worthy of good.

Can't you just hear Jo's voice in those words? This reading speaks to who she was, and who she will continue to be for us, as long as even one of us remembers her. And I believe we will remember her for a good long time.

September 13, 2007
Jo's Marker

Looking Southward from Gravesite

Cemetery Entrance
Turner & Stevens
200 E. Duarte Road
Monrovia, CA 91016

Jo's Memorial Rose
Thanks to Pastor Maria Tafoya, 10-20-08
     Thought you'd like to see how Jo's rose is flourishing since it was transplanted and pruned. When the rose bush was first transplanted it looked dead, but now it is producing new beauty. Now everyone entering the church or Charles hall can enjoy it's beauty."
by Ralph Cooper
     A number of Jo's friends brought floral arrangements and two small potted roses to her memorial service. After it was over, I gave one of the roses to Maria, for the church. You can see how beautiful it has become and what a nice tribute it is to her memory.
     When I sent a message of appreciation to Maria for sending this photograph of the rose, she responded in this manner.
     "When the rose bush was first transplanted it looked dead but now it is producing new beauty. You can also do that when you find another interest to occupy your self with."
     That remark was particularly appropriate for my situation at this time and I suspect it will be as inspirational to many of us who have lost loved ones.

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