Archive for the ‘Cooper Family Page’ Category

Jack Green: My Cousin, My Friend

Friday, July 31st, 2009

By Don Rivara

Those were high times in the 1990’s when we began to find living descendants of Isaiah Cooper, Junior.  Now they attend our reunions with some regularity, so we have become accustomed to their being a part of US.  In 1999 our first relatives from that branch, Jack and Mary Green came all the way from El Paso to attend our reunion. They spent a couple of days and nights partying with us. At eighty-five and eighty-three, respectively, they were full of energy and looked as if they could live forever.  They had been married sixty years, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had lived to celebrate seventy years together.

In fact, they were planning a large celebration for their 70th wedding anniversary last fall when Mary, 92, began failing fast and died in December.  They were married the third longest of any couple in our family’s history.  Both Colin and Lily Matheny and Eleeta and Ken Hilderbrand also made it to sixty-nine years, but the Hilderbrands were married the longest.

Jack was the oldest person at the 1999 reunion at eighty-five.  Now, at ninety-five, he is believed to be the oldest living family member. [If anyone is older than ninety-five, please let us know, spouses included.]

Jack doesn’t hold on to life by just a shoestring—he just got back from a trip to Alaska with his son Stan, a college professor in Laredo, Texas—and is planning another trip to see his son Richard’s family in Bethesda, Maryland.  Richard is a semi-retired lawyer.  His son John Junior had moved from the Houston area to Seattle.  Needless to say, it was quite a contrast, and he will be returning to Texas.  His son Jeff, a college electronics professor, lives in Vermont. There are many grandchildren and great grandchildren to keep Jack interested in life.

Jack was born in Florida in 1914, a great grandson of Isaiah Cooper, Jr., who had died in Kansas in 1895. He assumed the last name of his stepfather and later moved to Roseburg, Oregon, where he graduated from high school, totally unaware of his family’s role in that state’s history. He majored in journalism in college, but ended his career working for the El Paso Natural Gas Company.

Although he doesn’t speak with a Southern accent, he has the manners and character of a true Southern gentleman, and he didn’t reach ninety-five refusing mint juleps.  He knows how to moderate in all things.

I plan to visit him sometime within the next year to see how he is doing, although El Paso is more than 600 miles from the part of Texas where I live.   Jack, we hope to be celebrating your centennial in 2014.

Looking for stories from the Cooper Branch of the HMC Family

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

If you have any stories or anecdotes about the Cooper branch of the HMC family, please forward them to Newsletter@hmcfamily.org for posting on the website.