LAS CRUCES — Early in the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, our beloved Thomas S. Cooper passed into the loving arms of our Lord. Tom was born on July 27, 1940, in Cooper, to Mark and Faye Cooper. Tom was the third of four children, and was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Leta Fern and one brother, Doyle. His remaining brother Carl Cooper and sister-in-law Mardine reside in Roswell.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, Carol Cooper, of Las Cruces. He is also survived by his three daughters, Marla Cooper, of Las Cruces, Carla Bell and husband Michel, of Midland, Texas, and Carrie Cooper, of Hobbs, as well as one son, Greg Cooper, of Las Cruces, and step sons Gary Thurm Jr., of Minden, Nev., and Evan and Renee Thurm, of Portland, Ore. He loved and was dearly loved by his four grandchildren, Jessie and Christie Rankin, Scott Macatee and Brenna Bell.
Tom was raised on a ranch northeast of Roswell, and was a proud graduate of Roswell High School’s Class of 1958. He met Mary Jean Witte (now deceased) while attending New Mexico State University, and they married in November; Mary Jean was the mother of their four children. Tom graduated from NMSU after which he began his lifelong career in public accounting. In 1976, he purchased the first of several ranches that would become Cooper Cattle Company. He loved the cattle business — the cattle, the horses, and being outdoors in God’s country — almost as much as he loved his children.
Tom was a leader in issues he held dear to his heart, especially regarding private property rights and public lands issues, constitutional policy-making and private enterprise. He served as an officer in Las Cruces Tea Party, chaired People for Preserving our Western Heritage, and also served on the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee. He was a firm believer in capitalism and free enterprise. As an accountant and businessman, he was devoted to his clients, who have often spoken of him as the most honest, knowledgeable and clear-thinking individual with whom they had ever worked.
Tom was a member of Mission Lutheran Church, coming to regard his fellow parishioners as brothers and sisters in Christ. He will be greatly missed by his family and many good friends, but they rest secure in the assurance that Tom now resides with our Lord.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, at Mission Lutheran Church, 2752 Roadrunner Parkway in Las Cruces. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice to honor Tom’s memory.
Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home and Getz Family Crematory corner of Solano and Bowman Ave., Las Cruces, NM 526-2419. To sign our local online guest book go to GetzCares.com.