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Raymond Vernon Cooper passed away peacefully in Dallas, Texas on Monday, October 4, 2021 at the age of 93.
Raymond was born on November 12, 1927 in Mangum, Oklahoma. His family returned to Texas when he was one month old. He grew up on a cotton farm in Red River County, Texas and graduated from Annona High School in Annona, Texas in 1945. In November of that year he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Yeoman on the aircraft carrier Tarawa until 1947. He was stationed at Ford Island, Hawaii and later served at sea.
Raymond came to Dallas after his naval service and was first employed by the cotton firm Starke Taylor & Son, Inc., as an apprentice in the sample room in November, 1947. He became President of Starke Taylor & Son, Inc., in July, 1974 and served in this capacity until June 30, 1980. Effective July 1, 1980, he became President and Chief Executive Officer of Volkart Taylor Cooper, Inc., retiring from this position in November, 1989. During his 42 years as a cotton merchant he traveled extensively in the United States, Central America, Mexico, Europe and the Far East buying and selling cotton.
Ray was Past President of the Texas Cotton Association, the Dallas Cotton & Commodity Exchange, and the American Cotton Shippers Association. He was a Past Director of the National Cotton Council, the Cotton Council International and the New York Cotton Exchange. He was a Director at Large of the American Cotton Shippers Association.
Married to his wife, Reba, for 48-1/2 years, they raised a daughter who lives in Dallas. After retirement Ray and Reba bought a 600-acre ranch near Mineola, Texas where he enjoyed hunting deer and game fowl on his own land. He traveled the Rio Grand Valley buying and selling cotton, every year throughout his career, going there for the first time in 1951. He spent his later years in the Valley, in Harlingen.
Raymond is preceded in death by his wife, Reba, his sister Mary Ann Brady and his brothers Lee and John Cooper. He is survived by his daughter Sharon Cooper, his sister-in-law Jean Cooper, his brother-in-law George Friday, and numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank his caregiver Richard Adams of Harlingen for his help and assistance in Raymond's last years in Harlingen.
Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, October 20 at 11:00 a.m. at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 7405 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas, Texas. A Naval Honor Guard will play "Taps", and present the flag to Sharon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.