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Ethel Mae Willis Cooper, 89, was born Nov. 12, 1931, in Rector, Mo., to William and Easter Thompson Willis. She passed away June 22, 2021, at Phelps Health in Rolla.

Mrs. Cooper grew up in Rector, Mo., and attended school there through the eighth grade. She married Chester Cooper on Dec. 1, 1949, and they had four children, Judy, Brenda, Mike and Mark. Mr. Cooper was in the U.S. Air Force, so they traveled wherever he was stationed. When he retired, they moved to the Montauk area. After his passing Mrs. Cooper moved to Licking, Mo.

She was saved and baptized as a young adult and attended Abounding Hope Church as long as her health permitted.

Mrs. Cooper is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Chester in 1976; her siblings, Jay Willis, Marylee Holt, Lillie Karnes, Beulah Cox and Denver Willis.

She is survived by her children, Judy Edgar of House Springs, Mo., Brenda Rowles of Licking, Mo., Mike Cooper of Licking, Mo., and Mark Cooper of Licking, Mo.; numerous grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and other family and friends.

She worked as a waitress at Montauk, and the Walnut Bowl in Salem, Mo. She also worked at Rawlings for several years.

She enjoyed quilting, gardening, her flowers and cooking; her children remember her delicious dinner rolls especially. Mrs. Cooper also loved her grandchildren and spending time with her family.

Memorials may be made to Boone Creek Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to

Visitation is 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Saturday, June 26, 2021, at Evans Funeral Home, with services beginning at 11 in the chapel with Pastor Phillip McGuire officiating. Burial is in Boone Creek Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.