Grady Wilson's Story
Grady Wilson Cooper, 95, was a permanent resident of St. Cloud, Florida, passed away at his Slippery Rock summer residence on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, following a extended illness.
Grady was born on Aug. 22, 1922, in Slippery Rock to Harry Wilson Cooper and Marinda Julia Wimer Cooper.
From the age of 2, he spent time living both in Slippery Rock and St. Cloud.
He married Helen Lois Magee on June 27, 1941, and she preceded him in death on Oct. 31, 1994.
Grady went to work for his father at the age of 14 at his father's company, H.W. Cooper in Slippery Rock. While working full-time, he attended and graduated from Slippery Rock High School.
Grady served in World War II during combat as a member of the Merchant Marine, including serving on the USS Dobytown.
Following his military service, he returned to Slippery Rock and, along with his brother, Glenn, become part of H.W. Cooper and Sons. Together, Grady and Glenn formed Cooper Brothers. Their company provided building supplies, produced concrete block, ready mix and mined and brought to market aggregate materials, as well as providing host of other materials to supply construction needs in the greater community. He had the joy of providing employment to his son, Lilburn; his daughter, Renata; and two grandsons, Bob and Bart Jones.
Grady retired as chairman of the board of First National Bank of Slippery Rock, where he had served for 39 years, 20 of them as chairman. He succeeded his father-in-law, Wendell Magee, as chairman.
He was the oldest living member of Center Presbyterian Church in Slippery Rock, and served as a trustee at Slippery Rock University after his appointment in 1980.
He was a member of various organizations, including being a charter 50-year member and a lifetime member of the Slippery Rock Lions Club, Grove City Lodge 603 F&AM; Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of New Castle; Syria Shrine of Pittsburgh; Elks Chapter 1873 of Kissimmee, Florida; Kissimmee Moose Lodge 2056/Chapter 1849 of Kissimmee; American Legion Post 88 of St. Cloud; VFW Stanley Snyder Post 7465 of Volant; and attended monthly meetings of the Mariners in New Castle until recently.
He was a lifetime and oldest living member of the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Company and, along with his father, was instrumental in building the original firehouse.
He enjoyed traveling throughout his life and especially in his motorhome with his wife, Helen, and then later after Helen's passing, with his companion, Mary Jane Snyder. His signature was painting many things orange. At his company plant, many doors and other items were painted orange. He enjoyed secretly painting visitors' (personal friends) tire caps orange when they visited his residence for them to discover his prank soon thereafter. He cared about people.
Survivors include a son, Lilburn Bruce Cooper and his wife, Phyllis Ann, of Slippery Rock; his daughters, Karen L. Cooper of St. Cloud and Renata L. Hall of Slippery Rock; his companion, Mary Jane Snyder of St. Cloud, Florida, and Slippery Rock; his brother, Glenn E. Cooper (Ruth I.) of St. Cloud and Slippery Rock; six grandchildren, Bart Wilson Jones (Stacie) of Black Mountain, North Carolina, Dawn L. Bastin (Mike) of Cabot, Pennsylvania, Kent L. Cooper (Shayne) of Slippery Rock, Wendy A. Cooper of Slippery Rock, and Mitchell David Hall and Garrett Cooper Hall, both of Slippery Rock; seven great-grandchildren, Noelle L. Northrup (Aaron), Bobbi Sue Jones, Jack Wilson Jones, Clayton Bart Jones, Brandon Bastin, Brooke Bastin and Zachary Cooper; and two great-great-grandchildren, Ava Noelle Northrup and Jones R. Northrup.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; his grandson, Robert J. "Bob" Jones; and his great-grandson, Corey R. Jones.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Smith Funeral Home, 421 New Castle St., Slippery Rock, PA 16057.
A funeral service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with Chaplain Keith Black presiding.
Interment will be in Slippery Rock Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Slippery Rock Fire and Rescue Squad, 162 Elm St., Slippery Rock, PA 16057, toward new construction costs, or to Vitas Hospice, 2009 Mackenzie Way Unit 400, Cranberry Township, PA 16066.
Published on September 15, 2017