Wilma Jean (Karr) Cooper, 95, of McPherson, KS, passed away peacefully January 2, 2022. She was the only daughter of Robert and Florence Karr, born on September 12, 1926. Wilma Jean was a woman who could do anything she set her mind to. After she graduated from Clearwater High School, this 19 year old, small town girl traveled on a train by herself to Long Beach, California to marry the love of her life, Loren Cooper. They were married in 1945 and made their home in Wichita during their 65 years of marriage. They were blessed with two daughters, Judy Sawyer and Carla Neufeld. Her determination to start over was driven by her desire to be closer to family, and so she moved to McPherson, KS at the age of 83. She remained living independently in her home till January 2022, when she went to her heavenly home.
While working numerous secretarial jobs, she still was an active participant in her children and grandchildren’s activities. Her home was always open to spur of the moment gatherings. She enjoyed being around people and entertaining. She was like an energizer bunny who valued a strong work ethic. Her organizational skills served her well for scrapbooking, crafting, upholstering and sewing. Her talents ranged from rewiring a toaster to learning to cane an heirloom chair. Her greatest joy came in the spring when she could be outdoors and plant her flowers.
She was community minded and served as an election volunteer for many years. Additionally, she served on the Greenwood Cemetery (Oatville, KS) Board for 20 + years. She was a major visionary on the Board when a new addition was purchased and a chapel was built. She was a 75 year member of Eastern Star and held many state and county leadership positions in FCE, formerly Extension Home Units (EHU). She was chosen to represent Kansas and received the national Heart of FCE Award in 2015 at the national convention. She was an active FCE member for 66 years.
Besides her two daughters, Judy Sawyer and Carla Neufeld (Stan), her family legacy is eight grandchildren; Brian Sawyer (Peggy), Darin Sawyer (April), Dan Word, Megan Levika (Roby), Scott Neufeld, Kevin Neufeld, Laura Hendricks (Dustin) and Amy White (Josh), and 12 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, granddaughter, Abigail, and son-in-law, Robert Sawyer.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Friday, January 7, 2022, at Stockham Family Funeral Home, McPherson. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, January 8, at Broadway Mortuary, Wichita. A private family burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery, 6231 W. 47th St., Wichita, KS 67215.
Memorial donations may be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460 or Broadway Mortuary, 1147 South Broadway St., Wichita, KS 67211. The family wishes everyone to be safe and asks that masks be worn at service and visitation. Personal condolences may be sent to the family at www.stockhamfamily.com or www.cozine.com.