Jan Cooper, 63, of Rawlins, died June 20, 2016. Born January 6, 1953 in Barnwell, S.C., Jan earned a B.S. in agronomy from the University of Georgia.
Putting her idealism to practical use, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), a former French colony in West Africa. Jan found it difficult to learn enough French to communicate effectively and was often lonely, but she helped villagers and participated in significant agricultural research.
She also formed a friendship and romance with another volunteer, George Cooper. They married August 30, 1981, after returning to the U.S.
Jan later earned a Master's degree in Counseling from the University of Wyoming. As a counselor, Jan was compassionate, skilled, and empathetic. Unafraid to confront her clients with unpleasant truths, she was also unafraid to advocate for them with medical or legal authorities. She touched many lives in Wheatland and Rawlins.
Jan and George reared a fine son, J.C. She loved her family, including their dogs and cats, tropical vacations, snorkeling, wildflowers, and orchids. Jan had a wicked sense of humor and will be sorely missed by the many people who loved her.
Survivors include her faithful and adoring husband George Cooper, beloved son J.C Cooper, sister Mary Riddle (husband Hugh Rambo) of Decatur, Georgia, and brother Steve Riddle (wife Kathleen) of Murrell's Inlet, S.C. No services are planned.