COOPER, Dorothy W. (Mitchener)
Celebration of life service for Dorothy Willou Mitchener Cooper, 89, Okmulgee, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church of Okmulgee with the Rev. Craig Denslow officiating. She died Tuesday, July 13, 2010. Private family burial will be held under direction of McClendon-Winters Funeral Home. Dorothy Willou Mitchener Cooper was born March 21, 1921, at Okmulgee Hospital, to Helen Grizzell Swain and Benton Belchet Mitchener. She was an only child but was surrounded by many cousins on her mother’s side and had many happy times at her grandparents home on south Seminole Street, where she and her mother lived after her father died. Her grandfather, Orlando Swain, was a judge and former mayor of Okmulgee. She was very proud of his accomplishments with the Creek Indian Council House Museum. She met DeRuse Cooper when they were students at Okmulgee High School. Willou was a freshman and he was a senior. They continued their relationship after he graduated and enjoyed 69 years of marriage. Willou attended Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha but had to drop out to help care for her aging grandparents. She later enrolled in nursing school at St. Johns Hospital in Tulsa but left to marry DeRuse. They lived in Craig, Colo., for the first months of marriage. When World War II escalated, DeRuse enlisted and Willou and Margaret moved back to Okmulgee. She remained in Okmulgee the rest of her life, raising the four kids and caring for her mother, who lived with them for many years. In the late 1950s she joined DeRuse at Jones Furniture as a decorator and buyer. All surrounding communities enjoyed the Christmas windows she designed. Willous life was heavily involved around her children’s activities of scouts, sports and First Methodist Church. She also enjoyed activities in the community such as PTA, PEO, Art & Literature, Sesame and playing bridge. After her children left for college and married and had grandchildren, she and DeRuse traveled many miles attending their activities. They were very blessed to be able to travel to many foreign countries and they continued their travels visiting family and longtime friends. All she ever wanted was a big, loving family, good food and the right clothes. She is survived by her children and their spouses: Margaret Newendorp, of Moore; Dr. Ben Cooper, of Lawton; Helen and Bill Nygard, of Okmulgee; and DeRuse Jr. and Penny Cooper, of Broken Bow; her grandchildren: Heather and Jon Scherer, and Eric and Christina Newendorp, all of Tulsa; Billy and Kyme Nygard, The Colony, Texas; Amy and Mike Jones, Golden, Colo.; Holly and Dr. Billy Likos, Columbia, Miss.; Candace Collins, Guymon; Allison Cooper, of Dallas; Emily and Shebnem Cooper-Pura, of Seattle; Jessica Cooper, San Jose, Calif.; De Cooper and Libby Cooper, both of Norman; 19 great-grandchildren; cousins: Margaret Swain Beesley and Ed Swain; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Pallbearers will be Mike Hutchings, Jon Scherer, Billy Likos, Mike Jones, Steve Sigmon and Bill Martin. Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 302 S. Seminole, Okmulgee 74447, to help restore the Church Chimes that she grew up listening to her whole life.