Claude Wesley Cooper, 90, of Wilmington, NC, died Sunday, March 19, 2017, at home. He was born May 29, 1926 in Wilmington, son of the late Claude Bryant Cooper of Wilmington and Dorothy Wickens Cooper of Needham, MA. Colonel Cooper was first called to active duty from Watertown High School, Watertown, MA in 1944 as a Private in the Army Air Force. He served during WW II in the Eastern Flying Training Command as an Armorer/ Gunner on B24 Bombers, and after the war in Japan during the occupation. After discharge as a SSgt from the Army Air Force in 1946, he enrolled at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where he graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate in June 1950. He applied for, and accepted a Regular Army Commission in the Field Artillery. His later education included a graduate degree from Boston College in 1963 while on active duty. He also graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College. Col. Cooper’s military career spanned World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam conflict. Among his awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with V Device for Valor, the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Purple Heart, the Korean Campaign Medal with 6 campaign stars, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross and the Master Parachute Badge. On retirement in 1970 he returned to Wilmington where he taught at what is now Cape Fear Community College until 1984. He was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Cape Fear Power Squadron where he served as commander in 1985, Seapath Yacht Club and the Carolina Yacht Club. He was also a member of Post 10, The American Legion, and Post 0408, The Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was especially proud of his Coast Guard Captains 6 passenger license to charter his boat for commercial purposes. He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann Galloway Cooper; two daughters by a previous marriage, Valerie Suzanne McCoy of Wilmington, Michelle Ellen Cooper of Montreal, Canada and her husband, Paul Shrivastava, son, Wesley Bryant Cooper and his wife, Ellen Michelle, of Corpus Christi, TX; brother, Lenox Cooper of Bethesda, MD and wife Vicki; stepdaughter Sheryl Emma and husband Michael of Castle Hayne; step son Steven Galloway and wife Kaye of Wilmington; Elaine Skaggs of High Point, 11 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren, and many other family members not mentioned that loved him. The family will receive friends from 4:00pm to 6:00 pm Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Andrews Market Street Chapel. A memorial service with military honors will be held at 10:00 am Monday, March 27, 2017, at St. John’s Episcopal Church with Rev. Dr. Thomas C. Barnett officiating. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Claude’s memory may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1219 Forest Hills Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403. Condolences to the family at Andrews Market Street Chapel

Posted in: Wilmington Star-News

Posted on: 2017-03-22

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