Mary Ruth Cooper, 90, charter member of Cape Fear Jazz Society

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Mary Ruth Cooper
Mary Ruth Cooper

WILMINGTON — Mary Ruth Cooper, 90, passed away Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter.

Mary Ruth was born on Sept. 28, 1926, in Rockingham County, N.C., to James Hassell Sheppard and Georgia Martin Shepparrd.

Mary Ruth was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where she served on the Alter Guild for many years in addition to serving in many other capacities of the church. An avid music lover, she was a charter member of the Cape Fear Jazz Society and the North Carolina Jazz Festival, where she served on the board of directors for 20 years.

She was an active member of the Wilmington Women’s Club for a number of years, where she served as treasurer as well as other committees. She was a longtime member of Eastern Star, Daughters of the Revolution, and served on the North Carolina Azalea Festival Committee for 20 years.

She is survived by two sons, William Dean Cooper and James Everette Cooper (Kim); one daughter, Elizabeth Newlon; brother James William Sheppard; five grandchildren, Hassel, Katy, Hailey, Connor and Adrienne. Mary Ruth was the widow of Wilbur Grady Cooper.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.