Lester S. Cooper Jr.

Published 6:25 pm Thursday, December 16, 2021

Lester S. Cooper Jr., loving husband of Wendy Cooper, father of Michael, Scott, Kirk and Susan, and grandfather of Sam, Emily and Brianna, went to be with the Lord on Dec. 9, 2021, at his home in Smithfield.

Les was born in New York City on Jan. 24, 1936, and lived in Connecticut most of his life, graduating from Hampton DeBose Academy in Zellwood, Florida. He attended Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania, where he met his wife and began their family. He later attended Freewill Baptist Bible College in Nashville.

Prior to moving to Smithfield, Les lived in Hampton for many years. He was a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Hampton since 1972, where he taught Sunday School and served as a deacon. His compassion for others and love of the Word of God led him to also teach Sunday School at Riverside Nursing Home for 25 years. When God showed him there was a need to help at the Peninsula Rescue Mission, he served men of all ages and helped them to understand the love God has for each of them.

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Of all of the positions he held throughout the years, he most enjoyed serving at UPS, from which he retired after 25 years. He loved his Hayes route, where he knew his customers well, and they often sent him on his way with a special treat in hand.

“Capt’n,” as his fishing buddies called him, loved to fish and always enjoyed inviting a friend to join him. On a good day, they would return with their catch, spend time talking and cleaning the fish, followed by washing the boat and getting it ready for their next adventure.

Les was preceded in death by his parents, Lester S. Cooper Sr. and Grace Wright Cooper; in-laws, Luther E. Simmons Sr., and Violet Simmons; sons, Michael Lester Cooper and John Scott Cooper; granddaughter, Grace Cooper Brady; brother, John Cooper; and sisters, Shirley Carlsen and Helen Cooper.

Les is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Wendy Simmons Cooper; son, Steven Kirk Cooper (Gissell), of Chula Vista, California; daughter, Susan Cooper Brady (Jeff), of Hampton; grandchildren, Samuel Cooper Brady, Emily Marie Brady and Brianna Gissell Cooper; sister, June Strubinger (Taylor); sisters-in-law, Beth Miller (Jim) and Karen Trimble (Jack), Shirley Cooper (John); and many nieces, nephews and beloved friends.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Ave., Hampton. The celebration of life service will begin at 2 p.m. at the funeral home. Graveside service to follow at Parklawn Memorial Park.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Debbie and Betty Sue with Riverside Hospice, and their neighbors, Hart and Beverly Smith, for their many acts of kindness.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Peninsula Rescue Mission or Bethel Baptist Church in Hampton.