Celebrating the life of Gloria Graybeal Cooper
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Mrs. Cooper graduated from the University of South Carolina (USC), earning both a bachelor and master’s degree in Elementary Education. She was an elementary school teacher for nearly thirty years in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell schools, most of those years having been served at Barnwell Elementary School. Teaching young students brought her much joy and she also enjoyed graduate classes in education at USC after her four children left home for college. Although most of her adult life was lived in Barnwell, she always loved Columbia with its many memories of meeting and dating Mr. Cooper, as well as college years and Zeta Tau Alpha events and parties. She and Mr. Cooper maintained an apartment in Columbia while living in Barnwell so they could more easily visit their children, grandchildren and eat at various restaurants, one of their favorite activities. Mr. Cooper died in March 2017 and she never quite recovered from that loss, as they had become much closer as friends and companions in their later years.
Mrs. Cooper was a member of the First Baptist Church of Barnwell where she had many kind and giving friends. She insisted that her children attend Sunday School and church each Sunday, where they went begrudgingly at times, and also where memories of such a good and loving church family were made. Summer vacations with her family at Edisto Beach, Hilton Head and camping at Isle of Palms were some of her favorite memories. She was always fond of the ocean and the sun and came back from college each summer with a dark tan that made her parents wonder when she had made time to study, and she in fact had not made much time for that as she was fond of spending time with friends and enjoying life outside of class! In college she was well known for her beautiful singing voice and contagious laughter, which continued to bring joy to those who knew her throughout the years. Mrs. Cooper was a devoted mother to her children who all adored her as well as a loving grandmother to her grandchildren who affectionately referred to her as Mimi. She was well known to all that knew her for her outgoing personality and sense of humor – she never met a stranger.
Mrs. Cooper is survived by her brother, Dr. Frank Graybeal (Kim); children Cathy Cooper, Bo Cooper (Becky), Clark Cooper (Mandy) and Bonnie Huth; and grandchildren John Huth (Morgan), Abby Huth, Mary Huth, Carrie Cooper, Judson Cooper and Elizabeth Cooper.
A graveside service for Mrs. Cooper will be held at Barnwell County Memory Gardens on Tuesday, February 23rd for immediate family only. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those interested make a donation to their charity of interest in Mrs. Cooper’s name. Memories and condolences may be shared at Mole Funeral Home in Barnwell, SC.
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