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MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR THE LATE HONORABLE CYRUS S. COOPER, SR.

The Honorable Cyrus Sobu-Sohn Cooper, Sr.
Grand Gedeh County, Liberia West Africa
1920 - 2009

Honorable Cyrus S. Cooper, Sr. passed on Saturday, October 24, 2009 at the age of Eighty-Nine (89).

The Honorable Cyrus S. Cooper, Sr. was born to Sei-Sobu and Nyon-Nio in Twan Won Town within the Tchien Mangen Clan. He received his elementary education from the Assemblies of God Mission School in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
His struggle to obtain an education exemplifies the struggles of many other indigenous Liberians. With practically no schools in the Eastern Providence, now Grand Gedeh County, Honorable Cooper, like many others Grand Gedeans, had to leave home, first traveling to Cape Palmas, now Maryland County to complete his elementary education, and then to Monrovia to obtain his post elementary education.

In Monrovia, he lived with a number of Americo- Liberians as a "House-Boy" and adopted their names in the process. He was known at various times by such surnames as Wilson, Parkinson, Cassell and, finally Cooper.

He earned his high school diploma with honors from the College of West Africa. Recipient of a full academic scholarship, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Liberia in 1953.

The Honorable Cyrus S. Cooper, Sr. began his professional career as a teacher and principal at the Tubman Wilson Institute in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County; which he later transformed into a high school. He then served as principal of D. W. Coleman High School in Clay-Island, Montserrado County. Even though he'd earned a place of distinction in Monrovia, the Capitol City of Liberia, his heart remained within the rural areas fueled by a desire to help the people of his birthplace. He understood intimately the necessity of addressing educational issues as a means toward improved living conditions in the countryside. Armed with foresight, driven by compassion and possessed of genuine concern, he obtained a transfer and returned to serve in Zwedru.

In 1964, The Honorable Cyrus S. Cooper, Sr. received a Masters of Science degree in Education and Public Administration from the Emporia State University in Kansas State, U.S.A. Again compassion and foresight compelled him to use his newly acquired training and skills to advance literacy in rural Liberia. At his request, he was appointed as the Assistant Supervisor of Schools within the Eastern Region by the Ministry of Education.

The Honorable Cyrus Cooper, Sr. also achieved notoriety outside of academia. He became known as the "Stepper"; making reference to a man who knew how to dress, walk, and attract attention with his style.

The late President William R. Tolbert promoted him to Supervisor of Schools within the Eastern Region, a position he nobly served until 1980. He was appointed Managing Director of the Grand Gedeh County Development Project, Inc. by the late President Samuel K. Doe. This appointment provided an opportunity for fulfillment of a long held vision. He graciously accepted the responsibility for overseeing redevelopment of the city of Zwedru. A son of the countryside and always the educator, he became one of the pioneers in the construction of the first public library in Grand Gedeh county.

In continued fulfillment of his dream to serve Grand Gedeh County, The Honorable Cyrus Cooper, Sr. was elected to the House of Representatives of the Liberian Legislature in 1985. He was selected as chair of the Executive Committee of the House of Representative by his colleagues. The 1989 armed insurrection prematurely ended his political career. He sought exile in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

A brother, husband and father, The Honorable Cyrus S.Cooper leaves to mourn his beloved wife, Esther Dorbor Cooper; his brother, Joe Dweh Cooper; mother of five of his children, Frances Darlue Gwion; his sons, Wilhelm W. Cooper, Cyrus S. Cooper, II; his fourteen daughters, Lucretia Cooper-Tonquist, Toosie Cooper, Julia Cooper-Grear, Annie Cooper-Wilson, Dr. Eugenia Cooper-Merchant, Ellen Cooper, Munah Cooper, Mona Cooper-Zeele, Evelyn Cooper, Priscilla Cooper, Vesta Cooper-Kunneh, Helen Cooper, Eve Woodson, and Evelyn Decontee Cooper; forty grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren; several nephews including E.Ganda Dweh, Shad Dweh, Lawrence Dweh and Augusta Krah.

He is preceded in death by two sisters: Mary Beiley-Johnson and Nyenenyon Sobu; one brother, Teo Sobu; his first wife, Priscilla Lambert Cooper; mother of his first daughter, Ellen Vanpelt -Padmore; mother of three of his children, Ma Sarah Kaynnyon, mother of one of his children, Ma Gaye Zakpa, and two sons, Cyrus Soko Cooper and Charles Cooper.
This man of distinction and great honor will be missed by his loving family, friends and a host of admirers. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

CHURCH SERVICE: BETHEL WORLD OUTREACH CHURCH
3900 HUBBARD AVENUE N.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA 55422
TIME: 4:00 PM TO 8:00 PM

  • Lucretia Cooper-Tonquist 763-498-1840
  • Wilhelm Cooper 612-235-8934
  • Julia Cooper-Grear 405-416-3712
  • Mona Zeele 612-987-3210
  • Toosie Cooper 763-533-7935
  • Lawrence Wills 952-564-4830
  • Augusta Krah 515-770-4379
  • Roland Bai 763-447-1148
  • Munah Cooper 952-686-3140
  • Priscilla Cooper 609-227-8105
  • Vesta Cooper 404-513-1431
  • Evelyn Cooper 320-217-2379
  • Annie Yonly 612-246-2154
  • Vor-yonoh Wilkins 763-503-7367

CHURCH SERVICE: OVERBROOK ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH
6651 WEST GIRARD AVENUE
TIME: 9:00 AM PHILADELPHIA, PA 19151

CELEBRATION: AFRICAN CULTURE CENTER
5000 SPRINGFIELD AVENUE
TIME: 12:00 PM PHILADELPHIA, PA 19143

  • Bernice Momo 718-619-5956
  • Cyrus S. Cooper, II 347-221-4244
  • Margaret Torh 610-259-1840
  • Betty Flahn 484-840-6040
  • Dr. Joe Gbaba 267-973-1909
  • Ellen Cooper 347-907-0101
  • Princess Sei-Jedah 484-682-3927
  • Edward Dweh 267-349-6319
  • Bea Kromah 215-436-3855
  • Comfort Sobah 610-529-1576
  • Dr. Eugenia Cooper-Merchant 843-465-1245
  • Annie Cooper-Wilson 843-283-7211

THE FUNERAL WILL TAKE PLACE IN ZWEDRU, GRAND GEDEH COUNTY, LIBERIA, WEST AFRICA, ON NOVEMBER 28 2009 AT 10:00 AM.

 

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