James LaFayette Cooper III of Lawrenceville died at home of liver cancer December 1, 2013. A native of Laurens, SC, he was the son of the late James L. Cooper Jr. and Dorothy Lexine Copeland Cooper. He was a retired Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army Reserve and served two tours in Vietnam. He was a licensed embalmer and funeral director in both South Carolina and Georgia. He retired from Emory University with twenty-one years of service as an embalmer and funeral director with the School of Medicine's Body Donor Program. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Susan Benefield Cooper of Lawrenceville; brother, William C. (Bill) and his partner, Martin Meek, of Enoree, SC; cousins, Emily W. (Charles) Marler and Betty W. (R.T.) Smith, both of Laurens SC and Alice W. (Bert) Carmody of Atlanta; mother-in-law, Sara S. Benefield of Lawrenceville; sister-in-law, Ann Benefield (Randy) Davis of Dacula; and nephew, Justin W. Davis of Dacula. Funeral will be held at 11:00 am, Wednesday December, 4, 2013 at Wages and Sons Gwinnett Chapel with the Reverend Dr. Lamar Holley officiating. The family will receive friends from 2-5 and 6-8 pm, Tuesday, December 3, at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel. Graveside service and burial will be Wednesday afternoon at Laurens City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Georgia Sheriff's Youth Homes, P.O. Box 1000, Stockbridge, GA 30281 or to the Laurens City Cemetery, P.O. Box 21, Laurens, SC. 29360. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30046, 770-277-4550. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wagesandsons.com.

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  1. Dear Susan & Family,
    My sincere condolences to you all. Jim was a wonderful friend and person, and it was a great privilege working with him and learning from him. He was a kind and generous man, and he never ran out of stories to tell. He kept us entertained on many, many occasions. He will be missed by all those who knew and loved him. Rest In Peace, Jimbo.

  2. Mrs. Cooper,
    My deepest condolences. Jim was a great mentor. When I came to the Medical College of Georgia, I relied on his knowledge of the Body Donor Programs. I always enjoyed Jim’s company at the Academy of Graduate Emblamers and South Carolina Funeral Directors Mid Winter meeting. Jim will be greatley missed in the Funeral Service community.

  3. My sincere condolences. I have known Jim for several years as a work friend. We both retired around the same time. I enjoyed working with Jim through the years , sharing stories and jokes. I am sorry I will not be able to attend the funeral but I will be thinking of you and your family and praying for God’s comfort for you.

  4. Susan and family,
    We are saddened with the loss of Jim. It was my privilege to work with Jim since 1993 at Emory. His work was vital to the programs at Emory and he worked diligently to coordinate with others in the state and southeastern USA as it related to Funeral Director needs.
    May you be blessed and strengthened during this time.
    Kyle and Karen Petersen
    Santa Cruz, CA

  5. Dear Mrs. Cooper:

    I am saddened to hear about Jim. Please accept my sympathy! I met Jim many years ago while teaching at Gupton-Jones College in Atlanta. I always looked forward to seeing him at various funeral director continuing education programs throughout Georgia. He was a true professional and will be missed!

  6. Susan and family,

    I worked with Jim some years back and his smile, general good humor, and love of hot sauce always added joy to my day. My sincere condolences.

  7. Dear Susan & Family,
    My sincere condolences to all of you. I have known, and worked with Jim since 1992. He was a real character, with his hot sauce, and MSG he carried with him, and don’t let any onions touch his food! 🙂 . He was a real pleasure to talk too with his many stories. I will miss him.

  8. Dear Susan and Family,
    Jim was such a blessing to be around. He would come into our department bringing cheer, jokes, and a great personality. He supported many causes, including one that I belong to. I am proud to have known such a person. You have my condolences.
    Dorothy W. Brown

  9. I will certainly miss Jim. He was always a positive presence. I loved his jokes. Our department Christmas luncheon is coming up next week and we will dearly miss his wonderful stew and hot sauce! My condolences to his family.

  10. Dear Susan and Family,
    Please accept my sincere condolence. Jim and I worked together from the time he joined the Anatomy Department at Emory in 1988 or 1989. We enjoyed many lunches and conversations together and I will miss his company.

  11. So sorry for your loss, Susan. Our prayers are with you and Jim’s family in the coming days. I know he will be greatly missed.

  12. Susan, Peggy and I were so saddened today to read that Jim had passed. I wish we lived closer so we could be there for the service. Jimmy and I were great friends at Laurens High School. We also were class mates at Ford Elementary School. I have a lot of memories to relive in my mind for a very long time. Peggy and I enjoyed seeing you and Jim at the 50th High School reunion. I looked for you both at the 70th class birthday party. We were sorry you’ll didn’t get to attend. You and the extended family are in our thoughts and prayers. I agree with all the other people who have posted that Jim will be missed. We would love to stay in touch.

  13. Dear Susan:
    Judi and I are very sorry to hear about Jim’s passing. I really enjoyed working with him for the 14 years I was at Emory. He mentored and educated me about the various issues of the Body Donor Program, always being gracious with his time and expertise, and never losing his wonderful sense of humor. He will be sorely missed.
    With our sincere condolences, Barry and Judi Shur

  14. Susan,
    It was sad to hear of Jimmy’s death today. I did not know about it in time to get to Laurens to attend his graveside service. I always looked forward to seeing Jimmy at the Funeral Directors Mid Winter Conference in Columbia each February. We would sit together and catch up on ‘old times’. In September I saw Bill at Garden Song, an annual fund raiser held in the Ferguson Meditation Garden at the Laurens County Hospital, and he said that Jimmy was having a tough time. I missed seeing you and Jimmy at our recent high school reunion but was glad that we were together for our 50th. Thinking of you at this sad time. Whetsell McDaniel

  15. Dear Susan & Family,
    I was so blessed to come to know Jim so many years ago. He has been a dear friend to me and my family for over 30 years. Through the years, I ‘ve laughed with him, cried with him and shared my biggest fears with him. I’ll never forget our time together. We have the families that we are born into and the families that we choose. I’m so glad that I chose Jim to be a part of my life and my family so many years ago. His kindness, generosity and caring showed in everything he did, I can only hope to be half the person he was. I will miss you every day my dear friend……until we meet again.

  16. Susan,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. As everyone told me when I lost my husband, Time is a wonderful healer and happy memories do eventually return!! God bless you all.

  17. I was sad to learn that Mr. Cooper had passed away back in December 2013. I see where his visitation was held on my Birthday 12/03/2013. I assisted Mr. Copper on a case at Wages and Sons while during my clinicals at Gupton-Jones Funeral College, he was very sharing of his knowledge in funeral service and was just a kind and gentle spirit of a man indeed. I enjoyed his stories and he made my experience with him quite a memorable one. To Susan and his Family I send you my Deep Heartfelt Sympathy from Southern California.

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