Longtime state representative Barbara Cooper dies at 93
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Democratic Party of Tennessee lost a passionate public service champion on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the Tennessee Democratic Party confirmed that State House representative Barbara Ward Cooper passed away at the age of 93. Cooper served the 86th House District in Shelby County for 26 years.
Cooper attended Tennessee State University, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, before attending Jacksonville Theological Seminary and achieving a Doctorate in Religious Philosophy and Christian Psychology.
Cooper was a voice for the Black community in Memphis and, as a retired school teacher, an unwavering champion for education and its transformative power. She also worked tirelessly to improve public health and reduce poverty for many Tennesseans.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my longtime colleague and dear friend, Barbara Cooper” said House Minority Leader Karen Camper. “She was a warrior for her community and the City of Memphis, a tireless advocate on education and equality issues, and just a delightful person. We will all miss her.”
Rep. Cooper was married to John D. Cooper for 55 years before his death in 2005. She is survived by her daughters Reverand Joan Cooper Burnett and Tanya Cooper, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Arrangements for a celebration of life service will be announced in the near future.
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