The Cooper Family today shared news that Virginia June (Rockey) Cooper, the last living company founder, passed away Sunday evening at her home in Oakwood, Ohio.
Mrs. Cooper was born June 21, 1921, to the late Edgar Ray and Helene (Eastman) Rockey in Putnam County. She attended a one-room schoolhouse until fourth grade, when she began attending Continental Schools, from which she graduated in 1939.
On April 21, 1939 she married Virgil Homer Cooper and in 1941 they moved north of Oakwood, where she lived until her passing. She and Virgil later built their turkey hatchery and offices next door to their home, allowing her to watch the growth of the company over the years.
Known as the matriarch and co-founder of Cooper Farms, Virginia worked on the turkey farm and in the hatchery during the early years of the company. During those days, the company was much smaller and turkeys were still raised in fields. This provided for plenty of fun stories and memories which were shared with the later generations.
Those that knew her, were well aware that Virginia had a passion for crocheting and would regularly be found making blankets and other items for friends and family. She greatly enjoyed spending time with her many grandchildren and was known as the “birthday card lady,” who not only sent each family member a card, but also all the local children until they were 18-years-old.
She was a member of the Ladies Aid Society, Pollyanna Club and the Oakwood Methodist Women’s Group and the Twin Oaks United Methodist Church, Sunday School Secretary/Treasurer and a member of the Everwilling Club, a home demonstration club established in 1948.
Virginia is survived by her three children and two daughters-in-law, Jim (Anada) Cooper, Dianne Cooper, Gary Cooper (Cheri) all of Oakwood, Ohio, as well as 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, three great-step grandchildren and two great-great step grandchildren, Greg and Suzanne Cooper (Arlyn, Tianna and Royce), Dawn and Mike Price (Peyton), Darcy Cooper, Athena and Steve Brown (Nicholas Brown, Lindsey and Jake Roose [Jackson], Christopher Brown and Allison Brown [Riley]), Kendra and Byron Keeler (Maggie, Aaron and Joseph), Eric and Sandy Ludwig (Brittany and Reid Linder, Holly, Andrew, Blair and Brooke), Matthew and Amy Ludwig (Wesley), Jennifer and Mark VanCleve (Jacob, Jade and Malayna), Heather Cooper (Avery), Tara Cooper, Luke Cooper, Kacy and Brett Wagner, and Cole and Vanessa Cooper, a sister, Phyllis May Lloyd of Continental, and three brothers, Richard Rockey of Defiance, Marvin Rockey of Texas, and Randall Rockey of New Mexico.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Virgil Homer Cooper, a great-grandson, Brandon Andrew Ludwig, a sister, Carol Alma Shirey, and two brothers, Delbert Lee Rockey and Royal John Rockey.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family asks that contributions be made to the Cooper Community Library, 206 North First Street, Oakwood, Ohio 45873 or Twin Oaks United Methodist Church, 201 East Harmon Street, Oakwood, Ohio 45873.
Source: Cooper Farms