Christene Holley Cooper, 94, a longtime resident of Abilene, Texas, died November 13, 2021, in Chandler, Arizona.
Funeral services will be at 11 am on Saturday, November 20 at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, Episcopal, 602 Meander. Burial will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Christene was born on May 31, 1927, in what was then Sambo (now Wylie), she and her twin sister, Charlene, were born in a two-room farmhouse. Her parents, Johnnie Ann Van Landingham and Cleburne Casey Holley, were tenant farmers.
Following her mother’s death, she lived at the Hendrick Home for Children from 1940-1944. Christene and Charlene were personal favorites of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hendrick, who founded the home in 1939. She was very active in the Hendrick Home Exes Association and served a three-year term as president. Later, with her husband, they served as weekend sponsors for teenage boys from the Home.
Christene graduated from Abilene High School in 1944 and attended Hardin Simmons University. She was employed at Hendrick Memorial Hospital as a clerk and telephone operator when she met her husband, Stewart Cooper Jr. The couple were married in 1947 until his death in 2008.
A longtime member of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, she taught Sunday school for a number of years. She also worked as a secretary for Dr. W.R. Sibley. Christene retired after 20 years of service to the Abilene ISD Health Services. She always said that the school nurses were true friends. Her awards included: Friend of Abilene School Nurses and Extenders 1982-83; Devoted Service Award, Mental Health Association, 1987; and A Helping Hand Award from Mend-A-Child.
She was preceded in death by her husband; sisters Irene Woody Harbin and Charlene Chesshir; and her brother, Thomas B. Woody.
Survivors include her children: Thomas Stewart Cooper (Lynne) of Round Rock; daughter Gayle Korte (Ben) of Chandler, Arizona; daughter Mary Jane Coventry (Jim) of Amarillo; and Dan Cooper (Julie) of Schertz; grandchildren: Lora Taylor (Drake), Emily Hughes (Aaron), Jennifer Heeb (Matthew), David Hedger, Rachel Salemi (Charlie), Hannah Norman (Stephan), and Casey Cooper; 13 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A special thanks to Cecilia Agres and the staff of Ana’s Haven – Zaney, Kurt-Everton, Nurse Liz, Scott, Steve, Michelle, Joseph, Angela and Dr. Rebecca Abraham. They have been so kind and caring for Christene for the last two years
The family requests memorials can be made to the Hendrick Home for Children or to the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest.
Following the burial, Reception/Meal/Memory Sharing at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest. All are welcome to attend.
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.