Martha Mouzone Cooper was born on June 1, 1921 in Manning, South Carolina to Joseph and Virginia. At the age of 3, she relocated to Susanville, California with her Great Aunt Emma. There she enjoyed a wonderful childhood, later sharing fond memories of cinema outings and softball games with her friends. In 1939, she and her Great Aunt Emma, whom she lovingly called “Mama”, moved to Oakland, CA. There she met a fine gentleman by the name of Earl Cooper. They wedded in 1939 and to their union were born four amazing children: Eleanor Mae, Barbara Jean, Earl Jr. (Skippy) and Charles Bruce.
Martha was a virtuous and God-fearing woman who modeled her life after Christ’s tenets. She joined with the First A.M.E. Church in 1939 and there she stayed a faithful member for over seventy years. She sang in the Sanctuary Choir for over fifty years, served on the Usher Board and participated in numerous auxiliaries within the church. For many years, she enjoyed being the President of the Inspirational Guild, which hosted an annual luau in June of every year.
A devoted wife and mother, Martha was very active in her children’s extra-curricular activities, including the Boy Scouts and the PTA, to name a few. She always stressed the importance of having a strong work ethic. Residing in the same home since 1947, she was a housewife for many years in addition to taking domestic work from time to time. In 1963, she took employment with Kaiser Permanente, where after twenty years of faithful service she retired in 1983.
After her retirement, Martha remained active in the Retiree’s Bowling League. She also made time to care for the sick and shut-in, as well as the elderly.
Martha was a gracious hostess and impeccable cook. Known by many for her equally fantastic baking abilities, she was renowned for her delicious desserts. More notably, she will be remembered for making her specialty “Nut Bars,” a tradition she has passed down to future generations.