On July 1st, 2021 Heaven welcomed Nettie Cooper, a gracious, talented Christian world-changer who will be sorely missed by the hundreds of people she blessed.
Nettie was born on June 3, 1919 to John Thomas Broom and Laura Timmons Broom in Walkerville, AR. She graduated from Walkerville High School and Southern University in Magnolia, AR. Nettie also graduated from the First Assembly of God Bible College in Enid, OK. She was a sought-after preacher and speaker, holding crusades in Arkansas and Louisiana.
Nettie moved to Shreveport to further her education at Centenary College, but instead, accepted a position at Lee Hardware where she became the top salesperson. For the 29 years that she was there, she was awarded the distinct honor of “salesperson of the year” 15 times. This was quite a feat as the only woman on the force! She finished her career as a buyer at Stephenson Floor Covering.
In 1951, Nettie married Murray Cooper, a handsome Merchant Marine from Spanish Honduras Belize. Nettie tutored Murray in the Bible, English, and Civics, helping him become an American citizen. Despite cultural differences, Murray and Nettie served as a role model for affirming loving marriages.
In 1959, the Coopers joined Rodney and Frances Duron as assistant pastors of First Assembly of God Church / Shreveport Community Church. “Aunt Nettie” and “Uncle Murray” were family to all of the Durons, her “family of choice” in Louisiana.
When Murray was diagnosed with a war-related, terminal lung disease, he relied on the strength and character of his devoted wife. Nettie stood by her Marine/pastor husband with a love that sustained him through his painful journey. Murray reached his final destination in 2000. He told Nettie to live life to the fullest and to engrave on his tombstone, “Transferred to Higher Ground for Safe Keeping.”
Losing Murray at age 83 devastated Nettie, but she showed the same strength and courage that characterized her life. As a gourmet cook, she used her skills to serve a meal for 15 guests every Sunday and many “drop-ins” each weekday. She invited newcomers, families, and guest speakers alike. Friends referred to these amazing lunches as “the Nettie Cooper experience.”
When Pastor Rodney Duron became terminally ill, Nettie cooked endless meals, becoming an inexhaustible source of love, service, and devotion to the entire grieving family until Pastor Duron died in 2013.
In 2018, Nettie broke her hip and Frances Duron, her friend of 62 years, moved in with her. They shared wonderful memories, experienced challenges (COVID-19, broken arm, etc.), but also many times of precious fellowship until Nettie was welcomed home by her Savior.
Nettie was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister (Mary Broom Morris), and two brothers (Alonzo Broom and Alvin Broom), and niece (Phyllis Broom). Left to honor her memory are nieces Linda Broom Roberts, Laura Broom Neill and Gail Morris Hagen, and nephews James Broom and Thomas Broom, 13 great nieces and nephews, and 27 great-great nieces and nephews, and 2 great-great-great nieces and nephews.
Sister Nettie (“Aunt Nettie”) will be sorely missed by her family of choice, Frances Duron, Denny and DeAnza Duron, their seven children and spouses, and 14 great grandchildren.
Special thanks to Jim and Brenda Johnston, Cathy Little, Della Randolph, Iris James, and the “Steel Magnolias,” for their friendship and support throughout the years.
Pallbearers: Rusty Reeves, Arnie Castellano, Tag Rome, Paul Newton, Lewis Roach, and Rick Nichols.
Honorary pallbearers: Jimmy Broom, Tommy Broom, Dr. Charles Byrd, Bill Gordon, Jim Johnston, Jimbo Johnston, Eric LeBlanc, Carey Atkins, Wade Cooper, and Harry Swank
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Evangel Christian Academy.
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