On Dec. 30, 2019, while holding his daughters hand, Teddy Neal Cooper took his last breath and passed on to Heaven.
Teddy (Ted) was a beloved husband, Daddy, Papa, Honored Veteran, Teacher and Coach.
He was born in 1935 in Crossett Arkansas to Reginald Taft Cooper and Martha “Virginia” Dixon Cooper. He graduated from Marked Tree High School and went on to graduate from the University of Arkansas. Following his graduation, he served his country for a short time in the US Army. Upon his discharge, he took a random teaching job in Raton, New Mexico, where he met his beloved wife of 58 years, Nancy Anne Mora. The unrest in the world and the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs invasion led Ted to return to the Army to serve his country once again in 1963. He served 2 tours in Vietnam and was highly decorated, earning the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart due to his brave actions. Ted was Active Duty until 1976 when he transitioned to the Active Reserve, retiring after 20 years of service. He was also stationed at Ft Monmouth NJ; Ft. Riley Kansas; Butzbach Germany; Ft Hood TX an Ft Huachuca, AZ; he and Nancy made many amazing memories together during those times.
Ted’s second career would bring two new titles, those of Teacher and Coach. He taught Middle school math and coached girls Basketball during that time. He also taught some science and coached just about every other sport at some point, including boy’s football, girls softball , soccer and Buena ladies tennis. Throughout the mid 70’s-90’s Ted also taught Cochise College math and earned a Masters of Counseling. Each and every day of the week included his regular teaching job, coaching AND either reserve training, teaching or taking college classes. He had an incredible work ethic and personal honor code that he passed on to those who knew and loved him.
In 1970, Ted took on the title of “Daddy” when his daughter, Leslie, joined the family. During her youth the two were nearly inseparable. When teaching/coaching, she could be seen tagging along as his personal side-kick and honorary Wildcat Mascot.
In 1996 he received his most cherished title…that of Papa with the birth of his first Grandson, Ryan then again in 2000 with the birth of his second grandson, Chad. The two boys became his new side-kicks, and over the past 20 years he could be seen at all of their local school and sporting events being as their biggest fan!
The highlight of his last week on this earth was seeing both his grandsons and hearing his namesake, “Baby Teddy’s” heartbeat! (due in May)
Ted is survived by his loving wife of, Nancy Mora Cooper, his daughter Leslie (Chuck) Taylor, and his 2 grandsons Ryan Clowser and Chad (Cait) Clowser. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, JoAnn Moody and Linda Kay Johnson.
Services will be at 10:30, Friday, Jan 17th 2020 at Hatfield’s Funeral Home; interment with full military honors to follow at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery at noon. Reception at the Elks Lodge, time to be announced at the service. Teddy received amazing care through the VA system after complications from Agent Orange exposure and was very grateful. The family would also like to thank Valor Hospice Care and the Sierra Vista Veteran’s clinic specifically for their kind and loving care.
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