Earl Cooper, 86, of Orange, died Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be the Rev. Lynn Ashcraft and Mr. Cooper’s grandson, Dr. Keith Manning. Burial will follow at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Orange with Masonic rites under the auspices of Madison Lodge 126 AF and AM. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday at the funeral home.

Mr. Cooper was born in Orange on Aug. 10, 1923, the son of William Oscar and Martha O. Cooper. He was a life long member of North Orange Baptist Church and for 52 years was a member of Madison Lodge 126 AF and AM. In 1971, he received his 32nd Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Houston Consistory. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of World War II; a Chevron retiree; and in his younger years, was an avid fisherman.

Mr. Cooper was preceded in death by his first wife, Emma Cooper; daughter, Nancy Manning; and brothers, Johnny and Harold Cooper.

He is survived by his wife, Pauline Cooper of Orange; grandsons, Douglas E. Manning and his wife, Shelley and their children, Robert and Mason, all of Orange, Dr. Keith Manning and his children, Aubrey and Trevor Manning, all of Hillsboro; and son-in-law, Jerry Manning and his wife, Sherry, of Orange.
Also surviving is his stepson, Rick Thomisee and his wife, Rebecca, of Lumberton and their children, Damon Thomisee and his wife, Jacqui, of Dallas and Dustin Thomisee of Lumberton.