Alta May Cooper…November 16, 1921 – June 13, 2017


Funeral services for Alta May Cooper were held at 2pm on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Peacock Funeral Chapel. Al Setter officiated the service. The two songs played during the service were ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘Jesus is Now My All in All’.

Al offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonderful life of Alta and the blessing and good example she was to so many people. Ginnifer Mauch told of many memories that the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren had of their beloved mother and grandmother.

Alta was born on November 16, 1921 at Charleston, Illinois to William Edgar Dallas and Stella Anna (Dotson) Dallas and passed away on June 13, 2017 at her home in Lamar with her family by her side at the age of 95. When Alta was five years old, her father passed away.

In 1930, Stella and her daughters moved to Baca County, Colorado. This is where Stella married Oscar Nidey, whom Alta and her sister, Barbara, loved and respected as their own father.  The family lived on a farm south of Springfield and Alta attended the one room Sandy Soil School.

Her parents were Christians and raised the girls to know and love their Lord Jesus. Alta was baptized into Christ when she was a young adult.  She remained a faithful Christian all of her life.  Alta loved her church family and over the years, she tried to crochet an afghan for each pew in case anyone got cold.

Alta was no stranger to hard work. As a young girl, she worked on the farm helping her parents.  As a teenager, her job was cooking for the broomcorn hands.  She said she would get up at 4am and help bake bread and biscuits, fry potatoes, fry bacon or ham, make gravy and eggs and have hot coffee.  Then it was time to clean up everything!  Piles of dishes to wash, heavy tubs of dishwater to throw out, clean the eating area, then it was time to start on lunch!  Mom said that at the end of the day, her shoulders hurt so bad it felt like they were on fire.  For all that hard work, she made 50 cents a day!

Alta met the love of her life, Mervyn Cooper in 1938 and they were married in 1940 in Boise City, Oklahoma. As newlyweds, they moved to Syracuse, Kansas to open and operate a shoe repair shop.  In 1941 the couple moved to Tacoma, Washington where Mervyn worked in the shipyards and Alta took care of the home.  While living in Tacoma, their first child, Sharon, was born.

After the war was over, they moved back to Colorado and settled in Lamar. There, they had two more children, Toni and Dallas.  Mervyn opened a shoe repair shop that was later to become a full western store, and twenty years later he bought a ranch west of town.  On the ranch, Mom worked very hard keeping a two-story house clean.  She would kill and clean chickens for the freezer, raised vegetables and of course had to can them.  She loved to crochet afghans, do embroider work and try to win ribbons at the county fair.  She has a drawer full of 1st, 2nd and a few 3rd place ones, and yes, some Grand Champions!

During the 1965 flood in Lamar, she had four families that were flooded out come stay at the ranch. She had 18 people to cook three meals a day for, plus, they brought wash baskets full of muddy flood water clothing and bedding to be washed.  I never heard her once complain.  She really enjoyed helping people that needed help.  She was a faithful contributor to the Mary and Martha Pantry, donating food and money.

Although Alta only got to the 10th grade, she always loved learning.  She took several college courses from LCC.  She took an exercise class, a painting class and an extensive course on religion, taught by J.R. Cawyer, the minister of the Church of Christ at the time.

Alta is survived by her three children, Sharon (Alan) Setter, Toni (Raymond) Mauch all of Lamar and Dallas Cooper of Twin Falls, Idaho; five grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other family and a host of friends. She is preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Mervyn E. Cooper, her parents, and stepfather, Oscar Nidey, sister Barbara Wade and her step-sister, Ruth Green.

Thank You:

The family of Alta Cooper would like to thank everyone for the cards, phone calls, words of comfort, visits, food, flowers, prayers and donations to Hospice. A special thanks to Hospice for all the hard work they did and the compassion they showed.

Al and Sharon Setter; Ray and Toni Mauch & Dallas Cooper

Filed Under: Obituary


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