Cooper, Lenora "Lee"
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Lenora (Lee) Smiley Cooper, 92 of Tempe passed away November 23 after a lengthy illness. She was preceded in death by her parents Virgle and Faith Smiley, her husband Morris Cooper, and son M. Scott Cooper. She is survived by her sister, Guila Miller of Birmingham, AL; daughters, Nancy Pressendo (Bob) and Jannifer Wolfgramm (Howard); 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Lenora was born in Putnam Co, IN and graduated from Cloverdale High School, IN. She married Morris in 1939. After her three children were born, Lenora went to college and earned a BS in elementary education from Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, IN. In 1958 the family moved to Tempe, AZ where Lenora had a lengthy teaching career in the Tempe Elementary School system. She began at Rural School, then Thew School where she taught 2nd & third grade. She taught science at Gilliland Elementary School for many years and finished her career at Carminatti Elementary School in 1983. Throughout her teaching career Lenora earned an MS in education from Arizona State University and pursued graduate studies in geology. She enjoyed spending her summers attending Science Institutes across the U.S. hosted by the National Science Foundation. She loved spending time with children, particularly her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Lenora was also fond of her four legged children (dogs and cats) and passionate about the Sun Devils, southwestern art, road trip adventures and rock hounding across the southwest. A brief memorial service and scattering of ashes will be held 10 a.m., Monday, December 23 at Valley of the Sun Cemetery (at the large sundial), 10940 E Chandler Heights Rd, Chandler.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Dec. 20, 2013