Lynne M. Cooper, D.Min., passed away peacefully at her home on Sat., Mar. 16, 2013 at the age of 61 after a long but brave battle with pancreatic cancer. Lynne was one of the founders of DOORWAYS, an Interfaith, HIV/AIDS homeless ministry and served as its long-time President and most recently President Emeritus. She was preceded in death by her parents William Sr., and Olga Cooper, and brothers William Cooper, Jr. and Ralph Cooper. Lynne is survived by her siblings, Iris (Cooper) McCoy, Paula (Cooper) Watson and Clark Cooper and a host of nieces and nephews. Lynne was born in Greenville, SC on April 6, 1951 and spent her early childhood with her family in the Jacksonville, FL area. Her family then moved to Atlanta, GA where she graduated from St. Joseph's High school. Lynne's undergraduate degree was from Fontbonne University. She held a Master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Eden Seminary. Lynne's interest in HIV/AIDS began during her pastoral care residency at Southern Baptist Hospital in New Orleans in 1985. In 1988, she and other community and faith leaders founded DOORWAYS, an Interfaith AIDS Residence Program to address the housing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Lynne served on numerous state and national boards, including President Clinton's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the National AIDS Housing Coalition and the Missouri Children's Trust Fund. She volunteered her time and talent at The Women's Safe House and assisted in the startup of The Community Wellness Project. Lynne's humanitarian work reached many corners of the U.S. and several countries in Africa. In recent years, Lynne spearheaded the development of a birthing center in Gulu, Uganda. This dream of beginning construction and assisting expectant mothers is now nearly a reality, thanks to her vision and dedication.
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Services: An Interfaith Memorial Service, Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Pl., St. Louis, 63108. A Catholic Mass for Family, Close Friends and Sisters, Saturday, April 6, at 11 a.m. at Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, 6400 Minnesota Ave, St. Louis, 63111. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to DOORWAYS for the Lynne Cooper Initiative for At-Risk Youth, 4385 Maryland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108 or for the birthing center in Gulu, Uganda in c/o The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, 6400 Minnesota Ave, St. Louis, MO 63111 Attn: Development Department/ Gulu Birthing Center.
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Mar. 21, 2013