DeRuse "Coach" E. Cooper

December 1, 1947 ~ April 1, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

DeRuse "Coach" E. Cooper Obituary

DeRuse Eugene Cooper Jr. 12-1-1948 died 4-1-2024 with his daughter by his side in Hatfield,

AR. Born December 1, 1948 in Okmulgee, OK to DeRuse Sr. and Dorothy Willou (Mitchner)

Cooper as the youngest of their four children- Margaret, Ben, Helen and De. His dad coached

him and all the neighborhood kids at Franklin Elementary. De was an accomplished athlete at

Okmulgee High School and that success earned him a college football scholarship to NEO

where they won the National Championship. He played football, basketball and ran track with

many state championships in his success. His junior year in high school, De ran at the Junior

Olympics at Rice University and placed in the Topb10. He met his wife Mary (Penney)

Vanderpool iat church in Kindergarten They began dating in Jr. High and built a beautiful life

together raising two daughters-Shawn Hutchings and Candace Collins. They both were

teachers who dedicated their lives to kids. De coached at the high school level in both

Oklahoma and Missouri. His career led him to coach and teach for many years at East Central

University in Ada, OK and then to Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Ok. During his

coaching career, he helped start football at Forest Grove and coached them to state

championships in both football and track. He also coached numerous athletes to gold in shot

out and discus. In retirement, he continued coaching at Idabel High School because he loved

coaching and the kids too much to not coach. When he wasn’t on the field, he was calling plays

from the pressbox. Even battling Stage 4 cancer this season, he never missed a game and was

so incredibly proud of the 11-1 season they had.

De also served in the military. He was active duty in the Air Force for four years and then

served in the Army National Guard when his daughters were young.

For recreation, De, along with his brother and father, loved to bird hunt and fish. He loved

animals and always had dogs. He loved being a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His

influence can not be measured because of all the young lives that he impacted through teaching and coaching. He was an amazing man with a huge heart and he will be dearly missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents, DeRuse and Willow Cooper; wife Penny Cooper, son, DeRuse E Cooper, III (Gene); daughter, Cynthia Shawn Hutchings; great-grandsons, Cooper Bradley Collins and Case Charles Bray; in laws, Dr. JP Vanderpool and Orene Vanderpool, DeRuse & Willow Cooper; brother-in-law, James Perry “Jimmy’ Vanderpool and sister-in-law, Sue Vanderpool; brother-in-law, James Newendorp.

DeRuse leaves to cherish his memory, daughter, Candace Collins and Mitch Martin of Hatfield, AR; brother, Dr. Ben Cooper of Cache, OK; sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Bill Nygard of Okmulgee, OK, sister, Margaret Newendorp of Tulsa, OK, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dr. Tom and Susan Vanderpool, sister-in-law, Cynthia Vanderpool all of Tulsa.; grandchildren, Hunter Hutchings, Haley and Kelby Dean, Caylee Collins, Canon and Cheyenne Collins; great-grandchildren, Carson, Chloee and Caitlee Collins, Emyree Bridges, Delaney and Decker Dean; a host of other relatives and a multitude of coaches, athletes and friends.

Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2024 at Bunch-Singleton Funeral Home, Broken Bow, OK.

A Graveside Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, April 12, 2024 at Okmulgee Cemetery, Okmulgee, OK.

A Celebration of Life Service is set for 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 13, 2024 at Idabel Middle School Auditorium, Idabel, OK.

In Lieu of flowers donations can made to the Idabel Athletic Program.

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April 4, 2024

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bunch - Singleton Funeral Home Chapel
205 N Broadway
Broken Bow, OK 74728

Memorial Service
April 12, 2024

11:00 AM
Okmulgee Cemetery, Okmulgee

Memorial Service
April 13, 2024

2:00 PM
Idabel Middle School Auditorium
100 NE Ave D
Idabel, OK 74745


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