Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1949

Ralph Cooper RALPH DARRELL COOPER, 87, of Granbury, TX, died peacefully on Sept. 4, 2020, after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Ralph was born on Dec. 1, 1932, the eldest son of Guy & Rosa Lee Cooper of Ranger, TX. Having grown up on a farm in Ranger during the Depression, he vowed never to be a farmer. Ralph graduated from Ranger High School in 1949 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1950, serving three years during the Korean Conflict. Following the Marines, he enrolled at Texas Tech University, graduating Cum Laude with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1957 and began his career in Baton Rouge, LA with Esso/Exxon. Beginning in 1966, the remainder of his career was based in Houston as a project manager for a number of engineering firms and oil companies. He designed and managed the construction of a wide variety of chemical and refinery units over a 45 year period, located in North and South America, and Europe. After his first retirement at 72, Ralph and Sue moved to China for a refinery construction project and traveled extensively in that country. After his second retirement, Ralph and Sue moved to Granbury in 2009. Ralph was a loving, compassionate and supportive son, brother, husband and father. As a husband, Ralph was supportive, progressive and encouraging of Sue's career when that was not common. For a decade, he and Sue were youth sponsors in the Methodist youth fellowship. Ralph grew out of his natural shyness over the years to become a gregarious and generous friend and partner. He was quietly the rock at the center of the Cooper family clan, always ready to spring into action when a family member or loved one came to him. Nothing made him smile more than playing with his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was an attentive and engaged parent, and wouldn't miss ball games, band concerts, dance recitals, soccer games and family celebrations. Ralph drew airplanes on his first day of school at 5 years old, and has been drawing and painting ever since. About five years before he retired, Ralph began honing his skills, studying at the Glassell School of Art at the MFA Houston. He created works in oil and pastel, and had a special passion for watercolors. Ralph and Sue traveled to the south of France 15-20 times where he loved to visit with friends and paint French landscapes and village scenes. Ralph had two one-man art shows in Houston, and was an active member of the Pecan Plantation Art Guild. Ralph was also a passionate golfer and was forever swinging a golf club around the house, much to the consternation of Sue. He also loved fly fishing as often as he could get to a mountain stream. Ralph and Sue enjoyed traveling extensively throughout North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and China, and he greatly enjoyed hosting gatherings at their home overlooking the Brazos River. He is greatly missed and loved, as he has loved us. He was preceded in death by his parents and younger sister, Sandra Cooper Laux (RHS-1960). Ralph is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Iva Sue Cooper of Lubbock, TX; his son Mark Cooper and daughter Susan Cooper, both of Houston; his grandsons Ryan and Sean Cooper of Houston; sisters Barbara Cooper Whatley (RHS-1955) of Temple and Sarah Cooper Collins (RHS-1965) of Granbury, TX; brother Fred Cooper (RHS-1958) of Venus, TX; and many nieces and nephews and their children.