BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — Walter Franklin Cooper, 80, of Burke County, North Carolina, died Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
He was born in Ashland, Ky., on May 11, 1933, to the late Grace Paazig Cooper of Mount Vernon, and the late Franklin Donald Cooper of Bellevue, Ohio. He graduated from Ashland High School in 1950 and received a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Berea College in 1954. The same day he graduated from Berea, he married his wife of 60 years, Emma Maynard Cooper.
Walter served in the U.S. Army in Korea. He returned home to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a soil conservationist, pursuing a lifelong love of nature he developed while attending summer work camps at Cathedral Domain near Beattyville, Ky., as a child. During his career, he worked in Ohio, Missouri, and North Carolina, where he retired.
In addition to having a passion for bluegrass music, Walter was a postmark collector with a collection of over 1 million postmarks from all over the world. He spent many volunteer hours with the Postmark Collectors Club and at the Postmark Museum in Bellevue. As a result of his hobby and his love of rural places, he visited all 3,144 counties and equivalents in the U.S. and six continents, including Antarctica.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Emma; daughter, Amy Cooper Outlaw and husband, Tony of Atlanta, Ga.; son, Alan Cooper and wife Janet of Great Mills, Md.; and grandchildren, Viorel Outlaw of Atlanta, Andrew Cooper of Hammond, Ind., Hannah Cooper Turpin and husband, Shane of Great Mills, Md., and Costel Outlaw of Okinawa, Japan. Cousins, Maxine McDonald Vaden and Harold McDonald, reside in Mount Vernon, and Charles McDonald in Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Burke Hospice or Berea College in Berea, Ky.
Submitted by Amy Cooper Outlaw.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.