Grace Elizabeth Cooper

Grace Elizabeth Cooper died Thursday, April 18, 2024 at Pioneer Ridge Assisted Living in Lawrence, Kansas.

Grace was born February 27, 1928 in New York City, New York, the daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth (Cimszak) Peto.

Grace graduated from Walton high School in 1945. She attended Catawba College in Salisbury North Carolina where she met and married Peter Penn Cooper II on September 28, 1947 at St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury. She and Pete raised three children.

Grace worked as a credit manager for Zimmerman’s Department Stores, served as the executive director of the American Freedom Association, executive director of H.S. World Peace Study and Speaking program, and taught at Salisbury Business College. She studied business courses and management skills with New York University School of Business, Wake Forest University, and the American Management Association. She earned her BA in English from Catawba College in 1977.

She joined Ingersoll Rand in 1975 as Executive Secretary/Editor. In 1981 she was awarded the Ingersoll Rand Davidson Management Award of Excellence for her outstanding work as a published writer, structuring the Ingersoll Rand newsletter, the Rand-O-Rama, into one of the finest publications in the Ingersoll Rand network. She retired in 1986.

Grace’s husband Pete preceded her in death November 3, 1982. Upon retiring from Ingersoll Rand she moved to Lawrence Kansas where she worked as an Administrative Aide to Senator Wint Winter Jr. of the Kansas Legislature.

Grace was active in the Kansas Authors club, Lawrence Men and Women Widowed Group, Lawrence Community Theatre, Women’s Transitional Care Services Advisory Board, American Association of University Women, Kaw Valley Quilter’s Guild, Plymouth Congregational Church Peace Committee, and St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.

Grace was a talented seamstress, quilter, and cook. She loved and appreciated classical and jazz music, fine art, thought-provoking literature, world-wide travel, photography, spirited debates concerning world events, politics, education, and religion. She loved the outdoors and animals, especially horses and dogs. She was the best horse groomer her horse-crazy daughter could ever wish for, and bravely pulled a rented two-horse trailer behind her Chevy station wagon so they could attend local horse shows. She loved her dogs, who lived royally under her love and care. She was a member of the National Arbor Day Foundation and loved growing things. She was a master at maintaining a beautiful yard and happy house plants.

Grace’s brother, Walter Peto, also preceded her in death. Survivors include her daughter, Alexis Chambers (Dean) of Kansas, sons Peter P. Cooper III of North Carolina, Mark R. Cooper (Cindy) of North Carolina, grandson Dylan P. Cooper of North Carolina, and her beloved nieces and nephews and their families.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Pioneer Ridge Independent Living, Rapid Recovery, and Assisted Living, Dr. Gregory Schnose and his staff, Cardiovascular Specialists of Lawrence, the angels of Ascend Health Lawrence, and our friends, acquaintances, and extended family whose friendships, compassion, and support is deeply appreciated.

Grace will be interred in the National Cemetery in Salisbury North Carolina with her late husband.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Lawrence Humane Society or Prairie Paws Animal Shelter in Ottawa, Kansas, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence KS 66044 or, to contribute to “A Tree To Remember” at where trees are planted in national forests as a living memorial to loved ones. Online condolences may be sent as Cards may be sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

Messages & Condolences

From Judy Hathaway...

Alexis, Peter, & Mark: My condolences on the loss of your mother. She was a remarkable individual and a dear friend for many years. I will miss her insightful viewpoints on current affairs and her delightful sense of humor.

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