Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute
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 wildearth.com.
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.