Thursday, May 26, 2016

Longtime Cleveland activist Alma Cooper, the sister of activist Ada Averyhart, dies....Visitation is Friday, May 27 and the wake and funeral are Saturday, May 28.....Cooper was a former Cleveland Ward 6 precinct committeewoman and was in the trenches with activists on issues impacting Cleveland's Black community, including the Art Feckner drug sting case, the Cleveland police killing of 23-year-old Michael Pipkens, and voting and other Civil Rights issues.....Retired judge Sara J. Harper called Cooper a dedicated servant and a "calm activist"....Cooper was one of 16 full siblings.....By editor-in-chief Kathy Wray Coleman

Alma Cooper
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By Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wray Coleman, a-23-year journalist who trained at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio for 17 years, and who interviewed now President Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS

Kathy Wray Coleman is a legal, educational, political and investigative journalist and is the most read reporter in Ohio on Google Plus. CLICK HERE TO GO TO GOOGLE PLUS WHERE KATHY WRAY COLEMAN HAS 2.7 MILLION READERS OR VIEWERS UNDER HER NAME AND IS OHIO'S MOST READ REPORTER ON GOOGLE PLUS alone 

CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND-Ohio-Longtime Cleveland community activist Alma Cooper died Sunday, May, 22 after a long illness. She was 93-years-old and one of 16 full siblings, a three-fourths of whom have passed on.

Veteran Cleveland activist Ada Averyhart, 83, Cooper's only surviving sister, said in an interview yesterday that she moved to Cleveland in 1952 from her native town of Brownsville, Tennessee  where she and her siblings were raised because she was following Alma.

Several other of Cooper's siblings also chose greater Cleveland to rear their families and to pursue careers.

A surviving brother, Dr Willie Lewis Averyhart, is a retired educator and a former principal of Martin Luther King Jr High School in Cleveland. 

"Alma was the best sister in the world, and she died on my birthday," said Ada Averyhart." She will be missed."

Visitation is Friday, May 27 from 5pm-7pm at the Wanton-Horne Chapel of Peace Funeral Home, 12519 Buckeye Avenue in Cleveland.

The wake is at 10:00 pm on Saturday, May 28 at Providence Baptist Church, 12712 Buckeye Road in Cleveland, with funeral services following at 10:30 am.

Alma Cooper, by all standards, was a change agent, and an exemplary community servant.

"My mother lived a life of significance and we are proud of the change that she helped bring about," said her daughter Janice Turner Riley.

"She was fair and committed and she did not discriminate against the powers that be when fighting for the community," said Turner Riley.

Cooper was a homemaker who began her career later in life and retired from the homestead department for the Cuyahoga County auditor's office. She was a longtime resident of Cleveland Ward 6 and a former precinct committeewoman who served on numerous community boards, including the Buckeye Community Congress, and for the East End Neighborhood House. She was in the trenches with local community activists for decades on community issues, including the Cleveland police killing of Michael Pipkens, the controversial 1980s Art Feckner case, and relative to voting and other Civil Rights matters.

Feckner was White and a big time cocaine dealer on the city's largely Black east side and activists and Black community leaders were upset that police and FBI authorities allegedly allowed the drug sales to prosper as part of a sting operation.

Pipkens was killed in December 1992 by two Cleveland police officers, Michael Tankersley and Jeffrey Gibson,  who put the 23-year-old Black man in a choke hold following a car chase on the east side of town. 

The Pipkens killing gained notoriety and unleashed community protests. It also heightened tensions between police and the Black community, tensions that are still in existence today. 

Retired Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals judge Sara J. Harper, also a longtime Cleveland NAACP affiliate, told Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper, that Cooper was a religious woman who was dedicated to her family and the community, and that she was  "a calm activist."

Cooper remained active in the community until illness slowed her down. She is preceded in death by a son, a husband, and siblings, and survived by three grown children, Ernest Turner, Janice Turner Riley and Tracy Cooper, four siblings of Ada Averyhart, the Rev Thomas Averyhart, Dr. Willie Lewis Averyhart, and James Henry Averyhart, 10 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and a host of stepchildren.
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