Dupree Cooper
1935 - 2021
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Dupree Cooper

Tipton County - In the late evening of May 8, 2021, Dupree Cooper of Tipton County died at the age of 85 after a brief battle with cancer. Dupree was a gifted man and never lost his love of learning. Dupree was born in Tipton County on October 2, 1935, and was the first born son of Willard and Maurine Cooper. He was a graduate of Munford High School, Class of 1953, and was a member of the high school band as a trumpet player. In addition to the trumpet, Dupree played the piano, organ and harmonica - all self-taught. Dupree enjoyed a life-long love of music. In 1956, Dupree married his first wife, Glenda and together they raised three children, Lynn, Lisa and Duke. Later in life, he was married to Betty Cooper and to Pauline White for 30 years. While married to Pauline, he adopted three macaws which he greatly enjoyed caring for. His love of birds was a life-long passion. For thirty plus years, Dupree was employed by a regional home builder as a custom cabinet maker. His work is found in thousands of homes throughout the region which cemented his reputation as being the "best in the business". Later in life, he mastered the art of lathing. Many of his lathed creations have sold throughout the U.S. and abroad. After leaving his job with the regional home builder, Dupree became a home inspector for Munford Union Bank, now First Citizens Bank. He retired from the bank in 2016. Among his many hobbies was car restorations. Through the years, Dupree restored a number of antique automobiles. His restorations earned numerous "Best in Show" titles from car competitions throughout the U.S. Additionally, his love of restorations led to his association with the Memphis Belle Foundation's restoration of the Memphis Belle. The Memphis Belle was one of the first United States Army Air Forces B-17 heavy bombers to complete 25 combat missions during World War II. The aircraft now resides at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio where, from May 2018, is on display. Dupree was recognized by the Foundation for his work in the restoration process. In addition to his many passions, Dupree was a Founding Father of Tipton-Rosemark Academy, a top regional college prep school located in the area. During its formative years, Dupree was instrumental in finding campus site locations for the school to build upon. He negotiated with the State of Tennessee for the purchase of the Rosemark campus which now houses both lower and upper schools. The Board of Directors recognized his service with an award. All three of his children are graduates of the school. Dupree was preceded in death by his wives, Betty and Pauline; his parents, Willard and Maurine; his brothers, Mickey and Dennis. Dupree is survived by his sister, Pansy; his sister-in-law, Bessie; his children, Lynn, who was his sole caregiver during his illness, Lisa (Wayne) and Duke; his grandchildren, Jennifer, Andrew, Mary Ashley and Taylor and his great-grandchild, Britney. Dupree's legacy will live on through the many graduates of Tipton-Rosemark Academy, through his custom cabinetry, his art works, and through the lives of his children and grandchildren. The family wishes to thank special friends Mr. Billy Joe Hinkle, Mr. Steve Irwin. The family will receive friends Thursday (May 13) from 1:00pm until the memorial service at 2:00pm at the Munford Chapel.

Munford Funeral Home, Munford Chapel, (901) 837-0123, MunfordFuneralHome.com

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Published in The Commercial Appeal from May 10 to May 11, 2021.
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