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Richard Cooper


ASHEBORO — Richard Martin Cooper, 79, of Asheboro passed away May 13, 2024, at his home surrounded by his family. 


He was born June 29, 1944, in Randolph County, the son of the late Martin Irving Cooper and Pearl Dunning Cooper. 


Also preceding him in death are his eight siblings: Sisters, Jackie Brown, Oneida Haynes, Arletta Hughes and Carlene Lambert; and brothers, Maxton Rogers, Gilbert Cooper, Kenneth Cooper and Charles Cooper.


Richard served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. 


A graduate of Asheboro High School in 1962, Richard furthered his education at Appalachian State University before earning a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from N.C. State.


His thirst for learning led him to Asheboro Business School, where he expanded his expertise.


Richard’s passion for wildlife and nature found a perfect home at the North Carolina State Zoo in Asheboro. As the first employee, he embarked on a fulfilling career that spanned 25 years. Starting as a park ranger, he held numerous positions before retiring as Maintenance Supervisor. 


Following his retirement, he joined his wife Pat as a relator with the Real Estate Shoppe until they retired in 2020.


Richard loved to feed and watch the birds and squirrels and had many canine companions throughout the years, most loved canine, Freckles. 


His colleagues and those who visited the zoo remember him for his mechanical aptitude and his exceptional ability to fix anything that needed repair. 


Beyond his professional achievements, Richard’s heart belonged to the great outdoors. The mountains and the beach were his sanctuaries, places where he could connect with the world around him. 


Above all, Richard was a devoted family man. He cherished every moment spent with his loved ones, always placing their needs above his own. His legacy is one of love, resilience and a deep appreciation for the simple pleasures of life.


Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife of 39 years, Patricia Davis Cooper; children, Allison Cooper Gallagher, Eric Cooper, Amy Trogdon Reddick, Lee Trogdon (Cressida) and Wendy Tamplin (Chris); grandchildren, Natalie Leonhardt (Dalton), Autumn Beane (Luke), Richard Gallagher and Ayla Gallagher; four great-grandchildren, Delany Leonhardt; Palmer Leonhardt; Henry Beane; Dayton Beane; and numerous other beloved family and friends.


A visitation will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 420 W. Walker Avenue, Asheboro, 27203.


A private inurnment will be held in Browers Community Church Cemetery at a later date.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:

— Randolph County Humane Society, PO Box 4384, Asheboro, 28403.

— Hospice of Randolph, 416 Vision Drive, Asheboro, for their compassionate care of Richard during his illness. You may also donate online by clicking the donation tab.