Laster C. Cooper, 90 years old, peacefully transitioned to his eternal home at 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, February 11, 2021,surrounded by loved ones.
Affectionately known as “Shorty” Cooper, he was born on May 8, 1930, to the late Thomas James Cooper and Lucy Anthony Cooper of Earl, Arkansas. Laster was named Jessie James Cooper at birth; so, for the first two and half decades of his life, Laster was called “JJ” by 17 of his 18 siblings.
After leaving Arkansas and prior to joining the United States Army during the Korean War, he changed his name to Laster C. Cooper. His first duty assignment was overseas to Germany. He enjoyed every minute of that experience and often spoke fondly of it.
Returning from the service, Laster married Alberta Patrick and their lifelong journey began. From the rearing of five boys and five girls, along with a host of family members who would stop in for “extended visits,” their door was always open to family.
Laster thoroughly enjoyed all sporting events. He was an avid sportsman, but his two favorite sports were baseball and bowling. His favorite baseball team – win or lose – was the Chicago Cubs. The family’s yearly summer trip to Wrigley Field where we sat in the bleacher seats will always be remembered. Laster was an excellent left-handed bowler with a consistent bowling average of 280 plus. He enjoyed the annual family Thanksgiving bowling party that took place after dinner each year.
He was a hard-working man with a strong and committed work ethic. Laster learned early-on from his parents the importance of earning a living and providing for family. He started his career with General Motors Central Foundry in Danville, Illinois, and later transferred to the Powertrain plant in Defiance, Ohio, where he retired with 46 years of seniority.
Laster loved God and his Saint James Freewill Baptist Church family. He especially cherished his role and participation as Worship Leader and Deacon Chair of the church. In this role,he ensured all deacons were prepared and ready to serve, as needed, during church services and functions.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Alberta; sons:Cleo Morton and Arthur Lee Britt; brothers: John Cooper, Joe Willie Cooper, Robert Cooper, Luther Cooper, Franklin D. Cooper; and sisters: Bessie Ruth Cooper-Curry, Virginia Cooper, Nellie Cooper, Mary Cooper, Martha Cooper-Rowell, Ollie Mae Cooper, and Nege Cooper.
Laster leaves to cherish his memory, nine children: Roy Dean Patrick of Danville, IL, Lorenzo Peter Cooper (Dianne) of Atlanta, GA, Shaun Edward Cooper of Danville, IL, Delores G. Forrest of Yorktown, VA, Carolyn Cooper of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Mary Anne Teal (Isaac) of Danville, IL, Crystal Lillard (Michael) of Atlanta, GA, Pastor Linda Cooper of Danville, IL, and Lalita Hoskins (Rickey) of Danville, IL;two sisters: Murrie Taylor of Urbana, IL, and Virginia Grandberry of Danville, IL; two brothers: Thomas James Cooper (Kathie) of Chicago, IL, and Lee Henry Cooper (Dorothy) of Mt Vernon, IL; 27 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren, 10 great great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, church family and friends.
Laster’s favorite Bible Scripture was 2 Chronicles 7:14 - If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land. (KJV)
A private Homegoing Celebration will commence at 12:00 Noon on Saturday February 20, 2021 at Leek & Sons Funeral Home 304 E. Williams St., Danville. Officiating Apostle Charles Hargrove Sr. A private viewing will begin at 11:00 am until the time of the service. Burial will follow after services at Georgetown Cemetery.
A public viewing will be held on February 19, 2021 at Leek & Sons Funeral Home from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm.
Due to CDC regulations, attendance restrictions will be enforced
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Laster C. Cooper, please visit our floral store.