Beverly Batchelor Cooper is remembered as a caring, compassionate woman whose influence on her students, family and friends can not be overstated.
Cooper, the mother of N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and N.C. District Court Judge Pell Cooper, died at the age of 84 Saturday at her Nashville home.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general said Beverly Cooper was diagnosed with cancer last year. Roy Cooper said in a statement that his mother also battled cancer twice before.
“She was the core of our family – and my dad, Roy Jr., my brother, Pell, her daughters-in-law, her grandchildren, family and friends will miss her terribly,” Roy Cooper said in the statement. “She had a deep faith in God, and I know she is with him now.”
Beverly Cooper taught middle and high school English and French for many years in the Nash County School System. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Meredith College and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
“She was a great teacher, but her students as well as her family, friends and those who met her also learned about a life of giving and caring,” Roy Cooper said. “She was grateful for every day of her life, and she always looked forward to the next adventure.”
Friends and acquaintances said Beverly Cooper believed that education was the most crucial ingredient to a successful life.
“She dedicated her life to educating children because she felt education was so important,” said Nash County Commissioner Mary Wells. “She just cared about people. She was a good role model and a good mother – just look at the sons she raised.”
Beverly Cooper married her childhood sweetheart, Roy Cooper Jr., one of the founding partners of the law firm Fields & Cooper. After retiring from teaching, she trained as a paralegal and went to work for the law firm.
“She was a very kind lady, very family-orientated,” said Mike Gaynor, an attorney with the firm since 2001. “When my family moved here, she was especially kind to us. She and Mr. Cooper were very willing to help me as a young attorney.”
Beverly Cooper always was kind and treated everyone she met with respect, said Bobbie May, who worked for more than 40 years at Fields & Cooper.
“She was one of the nicest, sweetest, smartest people I’ve ever known,” May said. “She was willing to help anyone she could – she certainly helped so many students.”
The funeral for Beverly Cooper is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Nashville Baptist Church.