TRAVERSE CITY — Rachel King Cooper, 83, of Traverse City, passed away surrounded by her family and friends on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. She was the youngest of 11 children born in Lumberton, N.C., to Frigalonia “Lonie” Smith and Javie Hunt.
She met Richard King, of Hayes Twp., Charlevoix County, while he was stationed at Ft. Bragg, and they married in Dillon County, S.C., on Sept. 18, 1952. After Richard was discharged from the Army they moved to Traverse City, where they raised their family. They were foster parents for several young men who continued to look to her for advice and guidance in their own lives and with their own children.
Rachel and Richard were taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and baptized, becoming two of the early founders in establishing the first branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Traverse City. The early members first met in the King home on Eighth Street and then the Ladies Library and then finally the Seventh Day Adventist church on Seventh Street until they could afford their own building on Veterans Drive.
Later in her life Rachel met and married her eternal companion, Leonard Emerson Cooper, of Traverse City, on Sept. 26, 2003. Leonard preceded her in death on June 17, 2007. Also preceding her in death were her son, Harold Hunt, her parents and her 10 siblings.
Surviving Rachel are her children, Richard (Joline) King, of Mesa, Ariz., Lynda (Dan) Stapleton, of Coto de Caza, Calif., Joanne (Tim) Tuck, Yvonne Sims and Michael King, all of Traverse City; her 13 grandchildren, Rick King, of Ohio, William “Buddy” Collins, Chanda (Curtis) Moore, Eric Sims, Grant Sims, all of Traverse City, Stephen (Heidi) Stapleton, Kevin Stapleton, Shane Stapleton, all of Coto de Caza, Calif., Jeffrey (Brooke) Stapleton, of Utah, Matthew (Kristen) King, of Arizona, Bryant (Morgan), of Nevada, Jennifer (Cody) Crawford, of Arizona, and Johnny Hunt, of Baltimore, Md.; and her five great-grandchildren, Marlee Smith and Kalyn Moore, of Traverse City, Timothy Stapleton, of Coto de Caza, Calif., Alexis King, of Columbus, Ohio, and Johnny Hunt, of Baltimore, Md.