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While his given name was William, it was “Ricky” that his family and childhood friends knew him by; as he moved into adulthood his friends began to call him “Bill”. But no matter what you called him, when he answered with that strong voice and bright smile, you knew he was a special person. Sadly, he departed this life on May 8, 2018.
William McCoy Cooper, Jr. was born on June 3, 1961 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina to William McCoy Cooper and Catherine Dais Cooper. He attended Wayne County Public Schools and graduated from Southern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1980. Upon completing high school, William enlisted in the United States Navy where he developed tight bonds with his shipmates that endure to this day. He spent eight years serving his country and traveling in the Pacific/Asian realm while stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI and Alameda, CA. Though William cherished his time in the military, he left the Navy after meeting the love of his life, Suzanne, in 1989. They married in 1992 and made their home in Portland, Oregon. To that union, three children were born, William McCoy Cooper, III, James Michael Cooper, and Andrew Bennett Cooper.
Following his time in the Navy, William worked as a corrections deputy for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department in while also attending Concordia University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business & Communications in 1993. He served with the sheriff’s department for eight years before opening his own business, Bill’s Muffler & Brake Shop, in Gresham, Oregon. After closing the shop, William took on the most challenging and rewarding work of his life, full-time parenting. To the question “What do you do?”, he proudly answered, “I’m a homemaker” or “At-Home Dad.” He volunteered in his sons’ classrooms, engaged teachers and school administrators, and coached numerous sports teams. His passion for the UNC Tarheels, all things sports and Star Trek were quickly revealed to those he met. He doled out life lessons to his sons and many other children, family members and friends over the years, often drawing from Star Trek or a sporting event to illustrate his point.
William is survived by his loving wife, Suzanne Bennett Cooper, and his three sons, Will, James and Andy. Also left to cherish his memory are his parents, William and Catherine Cooper of Dudley, NC; two sisters, Lana Mason of Dudley, NC and Dollicia Nazzare of Raleigh, NC; one brother, Tony Cooper of Charlotte, NC; father-in-law, James Bennett of Corvallis, OR; siblings-in-law, David Bennett (Melanie), Tina Bennett, Brad Bennett, Matt Bennett, and Angie Johnson (Bob), all of the Pacific Northwest; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.