1922 - 2008 (86 years)
||Mary Florence Painter |
||5 Jun 1922
||Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma [1, 2]
noted 6 May 2009
Former Columbia woman treasured war memorabilia, had knack for pranks
COLUMBIA — Mary P. Cooper, formerly of Columbia, was born the fourth of 13 children June 5, 1922, but she by no means faded into the family crowd. One couldn't miss the long red hair that fell to her waist when she was growing up in Tulsa, Okla.
"She sure kept us going," Iris Painter, 90, said of her sister. Painter was her sister's primary caretaker after Mrs. Cooper had a stroke and moved back to Oklahoma from Columbia a few years ago.
Mrs. Cooper died Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008, in Tulsa. She was 86.
Mrs. Cooper was born to Howard Andrew and Sylvia Painter. Her large family was far from wealthy, but she and her siblings worked hard, went to college and had such success that the entire family was featured in Life Magazine in 1958, said Charlotte Bell, one of Mrs. Cooper's younger sisters. (Look below for links to information about the magazine, and family photos.)
Mrs. Cooper herself attended MU for a few years before starting a job in the admissions office in the 1950s. She worked there while her husband, Jack, whom she met in Columbia, finished his degree. She worked professionally in many capacities through the years, chasing stories alongside her husband while he reported at MU's School of Journalism and often accompanying him to do the photography. She later worked as a legal secretary and secretary for the Navy League in Memphis and spent 20 years as a library assistant at a Tulsa Community College after her husband died in 1969.
Mrs. Cooper's nephew, Bobby Painter of Columbia, remembers her as a lively woman. "She was a real fine lady," he said, and "a pretty good prankster."
He laughed when recalling a particularly fun trick she pulled when he and about 10 others spent New Year's Eve of 1999 with her. Playing on the Y2K panic, Mrs. Cooper conspired with his youngest son to sneak down and turn off the main breaker, without telling any of the other party-goers, as the clock struck midnight.
Mrs. Cooper loved antiques, many of which she collected while living with her husband in Memphis, Tenn., after he graduated from MU, Iris Painter said. Mrs. Cooper gathered glassware and furniture but had a special passion for the war memorabilia of her husband's family. She organized and preserved centuries of items, including many letters, some of which date back to the Revolutionary War.
Mrs. Cooper also left a "garage full of books" behind with her sisters. Bobby Painter described her as a "big book collector and reader."
"She was a diverse, interesting person," said Bell, her sister. Mrs. Cooper taught Bell her first song, "My Buddy," on the piano when they were young, and Bell eventually went on to study music.
She is survived by brothers George Painter, Robert Painter, Joe Painter, Jon Painter and Jim Painter; and by sisters Iris Painter and Charlotte Bell. Five siblings died earlier.
There will be no immediate services, but there will be a celebration of Mrs. Cooper's life on her birthday, June 5, 2009, in Tulsa. Iris Painter, the event's organizer, can be reached at 918-663-9463.
View a larger picture of Mrs. Cooper and her husband, in addition to other family photos, by copying and pasting the following links into your Internet browser:
Read more about the issue of Life magazine in which Mrs. Cooper's family appeared at http://www.originallifemagazines.com/LIFE-Magazine-November-17-1958-P2650.aspx.
Mary (Painter) and Jack Cooper with Life magazine — http://www.columbiamissourian.com/multimedia/photo/2008/11/11/mary-painter-and-jack-cooper-life-magazine/
Mary (Painter) Cooper family photo No. 1 — http://www.columbiamissourian.com/multimedia/photo/2008/11/11/mary-painter-cooper-family-photo-no-1/
Mary (Painter) Cooper, extended family photo — http://www.columbiamissourian.com/multimedia/photo/2008/11/11/mary-painter-cooper-extended-family-photo/
Newspaper features Mary (Painter) and Jack Cooper's picture — http://www.columbiamissourian.com/multimedia/photo/2008/11/11/newspaper-features-mary-painter-and-jack-coopers-picture/
-- Katy Steinmetz
||Mary Ellender Hudson Painter |
||9 Nov 2008
||Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma
||7 May 2009 |
||Howard Andrew "Andrew" Painter, b. 30 Jul 1892, Bellefonte, Pulaski County, Missouri , d. 27 Apr 1966, Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma (Age 73 years) |
||Sylvia Pearl Taylor, b. 25 Jul 1889, Pulaski County, Missouri , d. 3 May 1982, Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma (Age 92 years) |
||7 Apr 1915
||Taylor home, Waynesville, Pulaski County, Missouri 
||John Arthur "Jac" Cooper, b. 3 Jul 1922, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California , d. 21 Jul 1976, Memphis, Tennessee (Age 54 years) |
||9 Feb 1945
||Jefferson City, Missouri
||18 Sep 2014 |
||Mary F. Painter|
||Mary and Billy Painter|
||Painters and their friends at the creek|
L-R: Billy Painter, Gwendolyn Hutchins, Esther Sowders, Betty Painter, Mary Painter, Marshall Sowders, Howard Painter, Jimmy Alexander, Leslie Hutchins and Lovelle Alexander, Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Her parents disagreed over what to name her. Pop wanted to name her after his mother, but Mom didn't like the name 'Mary'. A few months after the baby's birth, Mary Hudson Painter died, so Mom relented. -paraphrasing Mary Painter Cooper
- [S2006] Painter Palette, Charlotte Painter Bell, (family newsletter).
- [S1367] Boone Co., MO Voter Registration database, COOPER, MARY P 06/05/1922 805 SYCAMORE LN COLUMBIA ROCK BRIDGE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 5H2.
- [S2509] Personal comment, T. Anderson Painter, Note on back of wedding photo.