Bessie Lea Cooper
Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at St. Paul M. B.
Church, Silver Creek for Mrs. Bessie Lea Cooper, 82, who died Sunday,
Feb. 9, 2020, at her daughter’s residence. Rev. Minister Stanley Smith
officiated with interment following in the Cooper Memorial Gardens
Cemetery in Silver Creek. Johnson Funeral Home was in charge of
Mrs. Bessie L. Cooper was born to the late Deacon Leroy and Bertha Lee
Smith in Lawrence County. She attended Cherry Hill School in New
She was a co-founder of Great Mt. Rest M. B. Church in Gulfport, where
she served as a missionary, deaconess, choir member, served on
pastor’s aide and helped with the food ministry.
She was preceded in death by husband, Johnny C. Cooper; sister, Lou
Williams; brother, Rev. Kenneth Smith and grandson, Brad Preston.
She is survived by eight children; Laura Smith of New Hebron; Milton
(Carolyn) Cooper of Gulfport; Edward (Brenda) Cooper of New Hebron;
James Cooper of Atlanta, Georgia; Frank (Jackie) Cooper of Gulfport;
Kathleen (Carnell-Rodie) Jackson of Wiggins; Carolyn Cooper of
Columbus; Beverly (Mitchell) Jefferson of Gulfport; six sisters,
Geneva Walker, Irene Smith, LueGussie (James) May, Lela Smith,
Christine Smith and Jonita Smith; four brothers, Lynell (DeLois)
Smith, Troy Smith, James Smith and Terry L. Smith; 24 grandchidren; 33
great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren and many other
relatives and friends.