Ruth Leona Cooper

Ruth Leona Cooper passed away to her eternal home on June 4, 2012. She lived at the Cooper family farm north of Evart, until just a few days before the time of her death at Munson Memorial Hospital in Traverse City. She was 89 years old when she passed away.

Ruth was born to Edgar and Mary (Bell) Mowat at their family farm at just north of the Ogilvie Country School, on Nov. 12, 1922, the sixth of nine children. She was taken to Sunday school and worship services even as a baby, and was saved at an early age, always ready to go to church as it was a main part of her life.

She attended the Ogilvie Country School, graduating from 8th grade and continued her education at Evart High School, graduating in 1939.

She met her husband to be, Robert W. Cooper, who was called to become a preacher at a revival meeting, and they were married on Christmas day, 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor. Robert was inducted in to the army while they were living at Evart, and he lost his right leg in France and was shipped back to Percy Jones Hospital inBattle Creek. After several months of recovery he was honorably discharged from Fort Custer, Michigan, and shortly thereafter they moved to the County Line Wesleyan Church, Twining, Michigan. As a pastors wife she raised her family in several different locations, mostly in northern Michigan.

They served at County Line and Turner Wesleyan circuit from 1945-1949

They moved to Marion Indiana, and were there from 1949-1951 while her husband finished his ministerial training at Marion College. They then pastored five additional churches in northern Michigan from 1951-1973.

Midland Wesleyan Church (Ashman Street) 1951-1955, Hart Wesleyan Church, 1955-1960, Whitehall Wesleyan Church 1960-1963, Bay City Wesleyan Church 1963-1969, Cadillac Wesleyan Church 1969-1973.

Her husband Bob, was then elected District Superintendent of the North Michigan District of the Wesleyan Church and served in that position, still based at Cadillac from 1973-1977.

Ruth served in these parishes wherever needed as a [pastors wife, hostess, teacher, pianist, and various leadership roles in the Women’s Missionary Societies.

They raised their children to serve the Lord. She is survived by her four children and their spouses: Russell (Mary) serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea, Joyce (Robert) Tripp pastoring churches, Bruce (Sharen), Naomi (Roger) Sellnow. She has eight grandchildren Juanita (Larry) Valliere, Paul Tripp, Collette (Sean) Anderson, Maureen (Jason) Jordan, Eric, Sara Cooper, Michael (Amber) Sellnow, and Kevin Sellnow. There are nine great-grandchildren.

She is survived by one sister Elizabeth Sowles-Ralph. Preceding her in death is her husband Robert W. Cooper (18 March, 2004) her parents Edgar and Mary Bell Mowat preceded), and Frederick (and Isabella Mowat), Harold (and Helen) Mowat and Earl Mowat, a sister Ethel Mae, and three younger siblings who died in infancy. Also preceding her in death are brother-in-law Eugene Welton and sisters-in-law Frieda Elenbaas and Laura Laycock

She is survived by brothers-and sisters-in-law, Lela Mowat Wheeler, Ralph Laycock, Joe Elenbaas, Ruth Welton, David & Una Cooper, Jeannette and Morey Holsum, Roger & Lois Cooper, and many nieces and nephews.

Services will be at conducted by Pastor Paulette Zoulek at the Corey Funeral Home, Evart Michigan at 1 p.m., on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, and interment will follow at Cherry Valley Cemetery (Avondale).

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the family, to Wycliffe Bible Translators, or to the Pisgah Heights Wesleyan Church.