Roy Allen Cooper
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Roy Allen Cooper, 87, of Milton, Florida passed away on July 18, 2013. He was born in a little farmhouse in Cromwell, Oklahoma on February 25, 1926 to Gladys Cox and Tryon Cooper.
During World War II when Roy was 17, he enlisted in the Navy. After two years, nine months and 25 days of serving his country as a Gunners Mate First Class, he was honorably discharged from the Navy on February 16th, 1946 - just shy of his 20th birthday.
He worked in the oil fields for a while and eventually became a Union pipefitter/plumber, travelling all over the United States chasing the next job. He was still an active member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 366.
Roy married the love of his life, Billie Louise O'Neal, in 1962.
Despite his large stature and iron handshake, Roy was the kindest, gentlest man you would ever know. He never had a harsh word to say, always greeted you with a smile and would literally give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
He believed in working hard, making a living and taking care of his family. He was a gentle giant, but you would not want to mistake his gentle nature for weakness. He was also fiercely protective and you wouldn't want to cross him, especially if his family was threatened.
When Billie's health started to fail, Roy took care of her day and night for many years. He doted on Billie, committed to her every need. He loved her and would do just about anything to make her comfortable. He hated seeing her slip away and when Billie died in January 2007, his heart was broken.
Roy's health began to decline fairly rapidly after Billie died, first with the onset of Alzheimer's and then his physical health, which eventually meant he needed someone with him 24 hours a day. The family was fortunate enough to have four "angels" who looked after him and loved him just like he was their own family: Karen Jackson, Kathryn Walsh, Jennifer Trawick and Kim Griffith. Roy meant a lot to his "angels" and his "angels" meant a lot to him. It was because of his "angels" that Roy was able to live out his life in his home.
"God saw that he was getting tired
And a cure was not to be.
So he put His arms around him,
And whispered "Come to me".
In tears we watched him suffer,
And saw him fade away.
Although we loved him dearly,
We could not make him stay.
A heart of gold stopped beating,
Hard working hands now rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best."
Roy was preceded in death by his wife Billie, mother Gladys Cox Pogue, father Tryon Cooper, sister Evelyn, stepson Kenneth Conway and grandson "Lil Mark" Conway. He is survived by his children, Deborah Stanwood (Jimmy Bush), Robin Morris (Steve), Michael Cooper, Lynda McMonigle, and step-son Mark Conway. Grandchildren Temple McDonald, Markelle Marcantel, Michael Conway, Brittany Wagstaff, Nicholas Depontes (Tina), Dillon Depontes (Cara), Travis Stanwood and Hannah Stanwood. Great grandchildren Gevin, Jacob and Brandon Conway; Blayne Conway; Danielle & Olivia Marcantel; and Hailey Wagstaff.
Services were held on Sunday, June 21st at National Cremation and Burial Society on Highway 90 in Milton. He was buried next to Billie at Memory Park Cemetery.
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Published in Pensacola News Journal on July 23, 2013