James Vernon Cooper, 87, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri departed this earth to his heavenly home on January 2, 2024.

Vernon was born on February 23, 1936, to Gus and Ava Cooper in Vendor, Arkansas. After high school Vernon proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps. Later he attended Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas. He then received his master’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee. 

In 1958 he married the love of his life, Hazel Dean Smith. Together they had four children, Verna, Marie, Jason, and Dawn.

In 1969 Vernon took a job in Kansas City, Missouri working as the administrator of Highlands Child Placement Center. During his 22-year career over 500 loving families across the country adopted children from Highlands. Vernon lovingly prayed for God’s direction with every single child and family he placed throughout his ministry.  After Highlands, Vernon continued his ministry at Hannah’s House in Louisville, Kentucky where he remained until his retirement.

After retirement, Vernon stayed busy as everyone’s favorite substitute teacher for the Lee’s Summit School District.  He was an avid Kansas City sports fan, cheering on the Chiefs and Royals. And of course, the Arkansas Razorbacks. Woo Pig Sooie!

Vernon’s greatest accomplishment was his family. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with all his heart. He and Hazel attended a multitude of their games, programs, concerts, and celebrations. He also dearly loved numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family. 

Vernon was preceded in death by his parents, Gus and Ava Cooper, and brothers, Lewell Cooper, George Cooper, and Boyd Cooper.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Hazel, his children, Verna Collier (Jack), Marie Harder (Wayne), Jason Cooper (Michelle), Dawn Crosley (Phil), ten grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and two more on the way.

Visitation will be held Monday, January 8, 2024, at Langsford Funeral Home in Lee’s Summit, Missouri 10:00-12:00 with a service following at noon. Interment will be at noon at Smith Cemetery in Vendor, Arkansas on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

Memorial donations may be sent to Smith Cemetery HC 72 Box 82 Jasper, Arkansas 72641 in honor of Vernon Cooper.

Arrangements by Langsford Funeral Home, 115 SW 3rd Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063