William Harvey Cooper, Jr. of Lynchburg died on May 19, 2023, at the age of 77. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Anne Helms Cooper.
Billy was born in 1946 in Lynchburg, the son of William Harvey Cooper and Lois Sale Cooper Thompson of Amherst County. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, William H. Cooper, III (Abbie), grandsons William, Benjamin, Knox, Kye; and his daughter, Anne Meade Cooper Clemmons, “Daisy, (Chris) and their daughters Dale and Larkin. Survivors also include sisters Suzanne Cooper Cannon (Tommy) and Evie Cooper Hudson (Franklin), brother-in-law, Dr. Lee T. Helms (Sandi) and Billy’s extended family. His lifelong friend James Hicks (Cynthia) and their children, one of whom, Anne Hicks Wimer, is the goddaughter of Billy and Anne, are also survivors. Billy wished to acknowledge close friends and relatives who supported him during numerous and extensive medical problems.
Billy, whose father died when he was 13, began his work career at that same age, working part-time at a Madison Heights grocery store where he drove a delivery truck and helped stock shelves. From age 16 to 18 he drove a school bus in Amherst County. In 1964 he graduated from Amherst County High School where he played football and also performed in drama and theatre activities. Billy graduated from Lynchburg College in 1969, then entered the US Marine Corps as a reservist in the Combat Engineering unit for six years. Billy joined Wiley and Wilson Architectural Firm in 1970 as its first Human Resources director. Following his position there, he joined Babcock and Wilcox at Mt. Athos Research Center as Human Resources Manager. His next 25 years were spent as Vice-President of Human Resources at Virginia Fibre Corporation (Greif) followed by employment at Central Virginia Industries as President and CEO until his retirement.
Billy was a loyal and devoted husband. First and foremost, in his life were his children and grandchildren who called him “Paw Paw.” He loved to visit them and delighted in excursions and vacations with them. He and Anne enjoyed domestic and international travel. Billy was highly skilled in woodworking and carpentry and renovated his Lynchburg and Smith Mountain Lake homes. His volunteerism included work as Indian Guides tribe chief and building with Christmas in April. He was a member of Peakland United Methodist Church.
A memorial service will be held at Peakland United Methodist Church, July 1 at 2:00 pm, preceded by Visitation at 1:00 pm. Officiating are Reverend Joe Cailles and Reverend David Drinkard.
Memorial contributions in Billy’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association,4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA. 23060
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.