COOPER JOSEPHINE W. COOPER Josephine W. Cooper, 105, of Springmoor Retirement Community, Raleigh, died December 19, 2010. Mrs. Cooper, the only child of Roy T. and Mabel L. Wells, was born in Iowa City, IA, on June 10, 1905. She spent her childhood in the Boston, MA, area, graduating from Holliston, MA, high school in 1922. She attended Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, graduating in 1926 with a degree in Geology and English. She pursued a graduate degree in Geology at Yale University where she met her husband-to-be, G. Arthur Cooper. They were married in 1930 and moved to Washington, DC, where her husband was employed at the Smithsonian Institution. The Coopers lived in Washington until 1987. After rearing her family, Mrs. Cooper, (or Jo as her associates called her) made use of her geological training, working for the US Geological Survey's Names Committee in the 1950s. Jo also assisted her husband in his work at the Smithsonian for many years. In the 1960s she learned Russian and used that knowledge to translate geological articles that trickled out from behind the Iron Curtain. She became so proficient that she soon was making translations for geologists throughout the English- speaking world. As Jo's husband became one the pre-eminent paleontologists in the world, she supported his work by assisting him in his research and entertaining visiting scientists at their home. They were a team in the best sense of the word. In later life they traveled widely throughout the world. Mrs. Cooper is survived by two children, Arthur W. and wife Jean of Raleigh and Anne Arredondo and husband Alfonso of Berkeley, CA; grandsons Paul A. Cooper of Raleigh, Roy A. Cooper and wife Susan Hill of Cary, Roger P. Gay of Los Angeles, CA, and Daniel A. Gay and wife Brenda of Greenwood, IN; granddaughter Georganna Gay of Pawlet Village, VT; five great-grandchildren, Kathryn M. Cooper of Los Angeles, CA, Chelsea A. and Benton C. Alexopoulos of Pawlet Village, VT, and Lauren T. and Henry W. Gay of Greenwood, IN. The family especially thanks the nursing staff, attendants, and doctors at Springmoor for their years of caring attention to Mrs. Cooper's needs. Arrangements by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas, Raleigh, NC. Arrangements by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas, Raleigh, NC.
Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 24, 2010.