Carolyn Cooper

Carolyn Jean Gaines Cooper was born January 6, 1938 in Dallas, TX. to Mary Elizabeth Montgomery Gaines & Edward Forest Gaines. Carolyn passed away on January 13, 2009 and was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Robert.
She leaves behind her beloved husband of 53 years-Ted Cooper; 2 children-Michelle Staley and Michael Cooper; a son-in-law- Darrell Staley; a daughter-in-law- Dreama Cooper; 4 grandchildren-Jennifer Thomas-Zwick, Mary Staley, Michael Cooper Jr., and Amanda Cooper; a grandson-in-law-Tony Zwick; and a great-granddaughter-Kaya Zwick.
Carolyn’s early years were spent in Gainesville, TX in a normal childhood fashion. However, stories have been passed down that in her adolescent years she did meet a young Elvis Presley. She excelled in her schoolwork and recollected fondly on her time spent writing for her school newspaper.
In 1956, she married the love of her life, Ted Cooper. They soon had two children, Michelle and Michael. Eventually, Ted’s work carried the young family overseas and Carolyn soon became a world traveler. She lived in Mexico City and Singapore with her family for extended stays and travelled to countless other countries. She carried many wonderful memories with her from these trips and made many dear friends from her journeys.
Carolyn began painting at a young age and continued to perfect her technique throughout her life. She had a unique talent for bringing things to life with oils and a paintbrush which she tried to pass on to members of her family. To date, her talent for painting is singular in the family yet her art adorns the walls of all of her family member’s homes.
In 1984, Ted’s work took the whole family to Kansas. One of Carolyn’s favorite pastimes was to spend time with her family and she spent countless hours caring for her grandchildren. She was a constant, patient, and caring playmate to her grandchildren and great-grandchild. If a child was in the house, Carolyn could be found there with paint, trucks, or Barbie’s strewn about.
Carolyn was an enthusiastic antique collector and dealer. She collected various items but focused primarily on antique dolls. She shared this hobby with her daughter Michelle, and they spent a lot of time traveling to antique stores and auctions looking for unique and beautiful items.
Carolyn was an avid genealogist and was renowned in genealogy circles as an excellent researcher. She had researched her own family lineage back to early AD times in some instances. Upon receiving a few reams of printer paper as a gift one time, she said that it would take cases of paper to print out her findings on the family lineage. Many kind words have been sent as condolence from strangers across the globe that expressed their gratitude for her hard work on their family’s lineage searches.
Carolyn most enjoyed participating in the lives of her family members. She celebrated every accomplishment, be they preschool or college graduations, with her whole heart and support. She was a compassionate nurturer towards her family as well as towards all living things of the world. She regularly made monetary and tangible donations to many local charities and grew very fond of animal families she monitored on
Carolyn (Mom, Grandma, Nama) was a woman of great heart, sharp mind, tremendous talent, and lasting grace who will be deeply and forever missed.
Carolyn’s final resting place is at the VA cemetery in Fort Leavenworth, KS.
At Carolyn’s request, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.

Visits: 1


  1. Teddi Shriner on January 21, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I’ve lost one of my closet friends and a true soulmate.

  2. Michelle Cooper Staley on January 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Last night I picked up the phone to call my mom and tell her what a great day we had at the store, this is something I did whenever we had a good day. I am sure this will go on for sometime. I miss mom with ever ounce of my being but know I need to focus on making sure my daddy and girls are ok. Take it one day at a time and breathe. I miss her so much

  3. Gennie Lynn on January 25, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Carolyn was like a grandmother to me and my siblings while growing up. We would always go over to her house to swim and watch some Aggie football. She took care of us when my mom had surgery and many other times. She was an amazing woman and while my family and I have been gone from the KC area for a long time, Carolyn and her family were never far from our minds. We send our love to her family. We miss you guys! Give everyone a hug from us!

  4. Bonnie Lynn on January 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Carolyn was the ultimate “Southern Bell”. She loved everyone in her life to the fullest extent and was one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I can’t help but smile as I cry and remember her. I can still hear her accent and I can still see her running around the house entertaining us all. She was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and I know without a doubt we all have a special angel watching over us now! I love you guys so much!

  5. Catherine Hamelin on February 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I was shocked & deeply saddened to hear of Carolyn’s passing. I really enjoyed her friendship & her zest for living. My condolences to all. May she rest in peace.

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