Cover photo for Carl Stanley Cooper's Obituary
1930 Carl Stanley Cooper 2024

Carl Stanley Cooper

November 25, 1930 — February 14, 2024

Chapel Hill, TN

Carl Stanley Cooper was born on November 25, 1930 in East Nashville. He passed away peacefully at the age of 93 years old at the Lakeshore Meadows in Bellevue after a short illness on February 14, 2024. He courageously dealt with various health issues for the past two years, including Lewy Body Dementia. Before that, he lived a long and full life in the town he always called home, Chapel Hill, Tennessee, where he first met and later married his wife of almost 60 years, Frances Beverly Cathey Cooper. Carl and Beverly raised their family in Chapel Hill which included son David and daughter Susan.

Carl was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver “Ollie” Cooper and Lucy Forsythe Cooper. His mom and dad decided they wanted a large family, and so they did. Carl was preceded in death by his ten siblings; Mary Tolbert Garrett, Edward Cooper, Fransena Holmes, Katherine Harris, Robert Hayes Cooper, Imogene Shea, Charles Cooper, Kenneth Cooper, George Cooper, and Betty Ray Hardison. Some of his sisters stayed in Marshall County, while others moved away. The brothers left Chapel Hill for careers in various branches of the United States military, including the Army, Marine Corp and Air Force.

Carl did not make the military a career, but he was proud of the two years he spent serving in the United States Army from 1951-1953.  He gained the rank of corporal, and in 1952 was sent to Germany to help re-build the country from the devastation of World War II.

Carl graduated from Forrest High School in May 1950. He excelled as a running back in football and played on the basketball team. He had fond memories of playing at Scott’s Field in Chapel Hill, where on one occasion played against a team from Huntland led by legendary coach Shirley Majors, and future All American running back Johnny Majors. When Carl was asked how it was to play against Johnny Majors, he would simply smile and say, “He was fast.” He decided to further his education, and explained, “Bobby Osteen and I decided to go play football at Austin Peay.” Carl entered Austin Peay in the Fall of 1950 as a student and freshman running back, where he saw some playing time. He anticipated more playing time the next year, but after war broke out in Korea, Uncle Sam sent him a draft notice.

After “mustering out” of the Army in 1953, Carl came back home to complete his education, but this time decided to return to MTSU where he “volunteered” for the football team coached by Charles “Bubber” Murphy. Carl explained, “ I just wanted to get my degree and learn how to coach football. Coach Murphy showed me how to do that.”

Carl returned to Chapel Hill in 1955 with a degree in biology and desire to coach football at Forrest High School, where his old high school coach and mentor, Charlie Neighbors, still coached the Rockets. Carl was an assistant to Coach Neighbors for two years, and also head coach of the middle school team. In 1956, Petersburg High School was looking for a new coach and offered him the head coaching position for both the football and basketball teams. Carl and Beverly married at the Chapel Hill Methodist Church on July 6, 1956. They lived in the dormitory at Petersburg High School when David was born in October 1958. Susan came the next year when she was born in December 1959.

Carl would later explain that while he loved teaching and coaching, with two additional “mouths to feed,” he should consider other employment. In 1960, he took a job at the Venus Esterbrook Company in Lewisburg, which would later become Faber Casteel. Carl and Beverly then moved back to Chapel Hill, and with help from his father-in-law R. Lee Cathey, built their first home on Forrest Lane. In 1967, they built a house on Emmons Street that the family still calls “home.” Carl would remain at Faber until his retirement in 1986.


Not one to ever sit around the house, Carl stayed active in the Lions Club where he was a member for 60 years, serving one year as President. Carl enjoyed cooking hamburgers at the annual Tractor Pull, and talking to the many people who attended the event. Carl was also active in the Methodist Church, teaching various Sunday school classes to the young and old for nearly five decades. He enjoyed playing golf at Henry Horton Park with his buddies, including Dean Delk, Jackie King, Earl Haynes, and many others. Men in the community like Garrett Lawrence, J. Frank Rickman and Jim Comstock helped Carl start Boy Scout Troop 352 in Chapel Hill, and Carl was the first scoutmaster. He received the Long Rifle Award for his outstanding service to Scouts.

Carl was elected to the Marshall County School Board in 1974, where he served on the school board until 1982. He was chairperson of the school board for three years. It was during his tenure on the board that the new high school was built in Chapel Hill, which remains today. Carl also served the town of Chapel Hill as Mayor, with his first terms from 1974 to 1978. After retirement from Faber Casteel, he was asked by some of the townspeople in Chapel Hill to run again for Mayor and served from 2006 to 2014. While not officially confirmed, it is believed that at the conclusion of his last year in office he was the oldest Mayor in Tennessee.

Carl loved the outdoors and spent many Sunday afternoons fishing or hunting around Chapel Hill. Whether it was wading Spring Creek fishing for bass or catfishing in Duck River, hunting dove or quail on some nearby farm, or stalking deer or turkey, Carl loved being in the woods, where he was usually not too far from a good story with a close friend. Carl and Rodney Clay spent many a Saturday fishing for smallmouth bass on the Tennessee River. Carl even shot a turkey when he was 85 years old!

Carl was proud of his family, and always enjoyed the times they were together, particularly around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Carl is survived by his son, David Cooper (Carolyn) of Kingston Springs, Tennessee. He is also survived by his daughter, Susan Ernest, of Gainesville, Georgia. Affectionately known as “Papa” to his family, Carl is survived by four grandchildren, Hannah Cooper, Sam Cooper, Grace Ernest, and Maggie Ernest, along with one great granddaughter, Chali Cooper. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, because the “Cooper Clan” is a large group.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at Lawrence Funeral Home on Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. Brother Jim Gardner will officiate the service. Pallbearers will be Ray Harris, Stanley Harris, Elliot Garrett, Michael Shea, Brian Hardison and Sam Cooper. Burial will take place at Swanson Cemetery in Chapel Hill. Visitation will be on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lawrence Funeral Home. Donations can be made in his memory to the Forrest Alumni Association, c/o Matt Moorehead, 303 North Horton Parkway, Chapel Hill, TN  37034, the Chapel Hill Lions Club, P. O. Box 264, Chapel Hill, TN  37034, or to your favorite charity.


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Service Schedule

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Sunday, February 25, 2024

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