Charles "Gene" Cooper
1ST SGT. USMC (Retired)
84, Clayton, Indiana, passed away peacefully October 24th with his loving wife of 65 years Ernestine "Ernie" (Hampton) Cooper along with his children and grandchildren at his side. Gene was born January 12, 1928 in Stilesville, Indiana on the Cooper family farm. He was preceded in death by siblings Exie, Harlan, Marshall, Peggy, James, Louis, Lois, Irene, Ivan, Kenneth and Keith. He is survived by his sister Kathleen Davis. 1st SGT Cooper joined the United States Marine Corps in 1944 at the age of 17. He joined his 6 brothers and 6 brothers-in-law who were serving in both The Pacific and European Theaters of Operation during WWII. During his 25 years of service in the Marine Corps he served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. His tours of duty were extensive traveling throughout the world, (On land, sea and air) Dad your kids thought you would like this. A few highlights of his career; He was the Gunnery Sergeant Marine Barracks 8th & I Washington DC. He was the Acting Sergeant Major Marine Air Wing Marble Mount Vietnam, where he earned seven air medals with a Combat "V" device. During his combat tour while conducting Helicopter resupply and medevac missions he was shot down three separate times and awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received by indirect fire. Upon Retirement from his beloved Corps, he moved his family back to Indiana where he worked and retired from the United States Postal Service. Gene drove a school bus for the Mill Creek Community Schools for 20 years. He also was the care taker of the Stilesville Cemetery and on the board of trustees of the Cemetery for 31 years. His memberships include American Legion, Post #64 of which he was a lifetime member and Hazelwood Christian Church (9947 S. C. R. 0) Hazelwood, where funeral services will be held Monday, October 29, at 10:30 a.m. Friends may call at the church on Sunday, October 28, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Burial will be in Stilesville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Army, the other one served in the Corps. The two daughters are currently in charge of the family! Oldest to the youngest, Charles (Betty) (Army), Sherry (Arthur) Douville (USMC), Courtney (Sharon) (Army), Vickie (Ralph) Whitaker, Jeffrey (Joy) (USMC), and Eric (Trisha) (US Military Academy West Point Army). Dad was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. His wife, children, 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, were all blessed by his example of commitment to family and the love he expressed to us. His family is a direct reflection of his character by teaching all of us integrity, honesty, hard work and his infectious humor (Dad we will miss your jokes and loud laughter). Dad your Children will take care of Mom, you can stand down. Semper Fi! "I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified or discouraged; for the Lord My God is with me wherever I go. Joshua 1:9. Online condolences may be sent to the Cooper family at http://www.hamptongentry.com
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