Thomas Joseph Cooper

July 24, 1936September 7, 2020

Thomas Joseph Cooper, 84, of Columbia MO born July 24, 1936 in St. Louis MO, passed away peacefully on September 7, 2020. He lived his life to the fullest until the very end.

Thomas grew up in St. Louis and attended St. Louis University High School. Afterwards, he enlisted in the US Navy. Upon completing his duty, he returned to live in St. Louis for a number of years. Thomas then moved his family to Dallas Texas where he worked for N.C.R. in the computer division. He then had the opportunity in 1972 to join his father in Columbia, MO owning and operating the KFC franchise. He sold this business and retired in 1994. Thomas kept busy with his place at the Lake of the Ozarks boating, fishing and entertaining friends and family. Every spring he would host a men’s fishing weekend which still continues. He also looked forward to annual trips to Las Vegas and occasional trips to the casino in Boonville. He was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinal Baseball Fan and enjoyed following the Red Birds. Whether it was watching on TV, listening on the radio or attending an occasional live game, he would almost never miss a game.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Richard Cooper. His brothers Richard and Jack Cooper; daughter Kimberly Shuey and great grandson Landon Holliday.

He is survived by his wife Linda Sue Cooper nee Benedict who he married on February 9th, 1983 of the home. His first wife Lynne Cooper of Columbia. Children Stephen (Peggy) Cooper; Jeannie (Mike) Pfander; Eric (Laura Sievert) Cooper; Christopher Verslues.

Grandchildren Jessica (Zach) Holliday; Benjamin (Alaina) Cooper; Meghan (Jeremy) Volkmann; Tanner and Tate Cooper; Tyler Shuey; Marissa Lee; Alex and Benjamin Verslues. Great grandchildren Madelyn and Evan Holliday; Liam, Easten and Raylynn Shuey; Ivan Lee; Jackson Morris.

Mr. Cooper requested no services. He will be missed by his family, friends and the many acquaintances he made over the years. Memorials may be made to a charity of your choice or one of the following, The Walk for Primary Immunodeficiency or The Children’s Miracle Network


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Thomas Joseph Cooper

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Roger Langendoerfer

September 14, 2020

Steve, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to you and your family. Your dad was a great customer and a good friend. He was one of the best businessmen I have known. I'm glad to know he was able to enjoy his retirement and family.

David Harbour

September 14, 2020

I worked for Tom Cooper @ the Original Providence Road location of KFC in the late 70s. My condolences to his family.

Chuck Sanders

September 13, 2020

Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss…our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. I really miss the spirited discussions with Tom and the family.....especially the great fishing stories.

Phil Steinhaus

September 10, 2020

Dear Steve and Peggy and the Whole Cooper Family,

Julie and I are sad to hear of Tom's passing and know that you will keep him alive in your hearts and the memories of the good times you shared together. Our thoughts are with you at this time of mourning.


Phil and Julie Steinhaus


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