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Westminster Presbyterian Chr
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Greenville, SC 29605
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R. Cooper White


1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
R. Cooper White Obituary
R. Cooper White

Greenville

R. Cooper White, 90, of Greenville died on Saturday April 22, 2017 at the McCall Hospice House. He was born March 8, 1927, the son of the late Helen Harvley and R. Cooper White, and the grandson of the late H.C. Harvley who was a former mayor of Greenville. He was educated in the Greenville public schools and later attended Furman University, where he met the love of his life, June Loy. They were married In 1947 in Conway, SC. They had five children and a wonderful life together.

Cooper was a stock broker with several firms over his long career. He was active in many civic organizations including the Phillis Wheatley Association, Jaycees, March of Dimes, Goodwill Industries, and Meals on Wheels.

He was very active in Greenville politics, serving as a Greenville city councilman from 1963 - 1969, before he ran for and won the honor of becoming the first Republican mayor of Greenville in 1969. He served one short but eventful term, overseeing the desegregation of the public school system. After assembling a task force of African American and white community leaders, headed by Dr. Bill Gibson of the NAACP, they spoke at many churches and public venues to rally the people of Greenville to make the transition a peaceful one. On the day of the peaceful integration, during the CBS national news, Walter Cronkite praised Greenville, SC for handling the process with "grace and style." Throughout Cooper's life, he was especially proud of this accomplishment and his role in it.

Retiring from politics in 1971, Cooper continued a successful career as a stock broker until his retirement in 1989. Afterward he and June traveled the world together. But his favorite place of all was Pawley's Island, surrounded by family, sea, and sun.

Cooper was a devout Christian who loved and worshipped the Lord. In addition to his daily Bible studies and devotions with June, he served as elder and Sunday school teacher at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

As an active participant in AA, he sponsored and mentored many fellow recovering alcoholics, working the Twelfth Step to "carry the message of hope to other alcoholics." He loved attending meetings and listening to and sharing messages of hope in recovery. Through the grace of the God of his understanding, he had 45 years of sobriety and was filled with gratitude for every 24 hours granted to him during that time.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 70 years, June, and his children Sharon White Byrd (Mitchell); Susie White Wald (Danny); Sally White Stewart (Tom); and Mike White (Martha). He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Johnny White. He also leaves behind 15 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren whom he loved dearly, as well as his faithful companion, Wilma the cat.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday April 29th at 3 PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church with visitation following the ceremony in the church atrium. The Reverend Dave Sems will preside. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Cooper's memory may be made to Meals on Wheels, 15 Oregon St. Greenville, SC 29605 or Triune Mercy Center, 222 Rutherford St. Greenville, SC 29609.

The family would like to thank the McCall Hospice House for their kind and loving care.
Published in The Greenville News from Apr. 24 to Apr. 26, 2017
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