Athalia Cooper

Published 5:03 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Feb. 20, 1935 – Sept. 18, 2021
Athalia Cotten MacKenzie Cooper — “Athy” to all who knew her — died on September 18, 2021 at the Heart Institute in Greenville, following a long but quiet battle with heart disease.
Due to covid and safety concerns, a brief memorial service was held in the churchyard of Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington on September 20th, the Reverend Chris Adams officiating.
Athy Cooper was born in Washington on February 20th, 1935, the daughter of Robert Preston and Athalia Tayloe MacKenzie. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee Morton Cooper, and her brothers, Robert Preston and Joshua Tayloe MacKenzie.
Athy was educated in the Washington City Schools, and at Saint Mary’s College in
Raleigh. She worked before and during her marriage to Lee Cooper in the Washington City Schools, in the hospital as a nurse’s aide, and for several businesses as a bookkeeper.
She was a lifelong member of Saint Peter’s, joyfully serving over the years in the kitchen – at times as chairman — on the altar guild, and in the churchyard.
Athy loved her family, her friends, her church, The Tar and Pamlico Rivers, and way too many other people and places to name.
She is survived by her children, Elizabeth Cooper, Athalia Cooper, Lee “Coop” and Wendy Cooper, and Kathryn Cooper Forrest and Harry Forrest, grandchildren Kelly and Brooks Elks and Morgan Harris, and great-grandchildren Ryleigh and Kaylee Elks. She also adored her nieces and nephews, and many, many cousins.
So much caring and kindness has been enormously appreciated, and those still wishing to send a memorial are asked to consider Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington: specifically, The Episcopal Churchwomen — ECW — or the Backpack Buddies — BPB, or, certainly, the charity of their choice.
Sincere thanks also to Paul Funeral Home, 900 John Small Avenue, for their compassionate service to the family.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at
Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Cooper family.