Dora Cooper Beal
July 31, 1931 – August 5, 2019
Dora Cooper Beal, 88, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, late in the evening of August 5, 2019 at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community's Stewart Health Center. She was born July 31, 1931 at Mary Elizabeth Hospital in Raleigh to George Bunyan Cooper and Annie Eaves Cooper, parents also of George Bunyan Cooper, Jr.
A lifelong Raleigh resident, Dora grew up at Pinecroft, the family farm just outside of town, where she enjoyed riding horses and swimming in the pond. She graduated from Broughton High School in 1949, then attended Duke University. In 1951, Dora married William F. Beal, Jr. ("Billy"), a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. They served in Germany during the war, then made their way back to Raleigh.
For a time, Dora worked at the North Carolina General Assembly with her mother. She also volunteered with Hospice, and was one of the first Hospice volunteers in Raleigh to work with AIDS patients. She was an active member of St. Marks United Methodist Church, serving on various committees over the years, including their recent Capital Campaign. For years, Dora served at the Broughton Alumni Association as well.
Dora was an avid reader, Bridge player, and snow-skier. She loved ballet and tap dancing, took dance lessons with her daughters, taught dance lessons for children, and loved to attend performances of the Carolina Ballet. Throughout her life, she nurtured and enjoyed friendships with many of her earliest childhood friends. With her sisters-in-law, Eunice Beal Hassel and Mary Alice Hale, Dora shared a lifetime of jokes and pranks.
An adventurer and world-traveler, Dora shared her lifelong sense of adventure with Billy. Together they snow-skied many of the U.S. hot spots, snowmobiled across Yellowstone National Park, took a road trip to Nova Scotia, and traveled to Europe and Australia. As a widow in her 70s, Dora's adventures continued with a parasailing excursion, a trip to Italy, and a safari through Tanzania and Kenya. After these trips, she became known to her grandchildren as "Dora the Explorer." Dora and Billy also passed this adventurous spirit on to their children and grandchildren, including them on countless unforgettable trips.
Dora loved her family, her sisters-in-law, her cousins, and her friends deeply and with a generous spirit. Recently, she gained a new family member in caretaker Joyce Smith, whose love, wisdom, and humor sustained and comforted Dora and her family immeasurably. Dora also loved, and was loved by, many caregivers and staff at Stewart Health Center.
Dora is survived by her children Katherine Beal Frazier (Charles), W. Foy Beal III (Terry), Anne Hare (Wes), and Lyn McGurrin-Reed (Tim); her grandchildren William F. Beal IV (Ann), Annie F. Crandell (Kyle), Feron McGurrin (Ashlie), Cooper Beal, Mikaela Reed, Mary Elizabeth Hare, and Colin Reed; and her great-grandchildren Kai, Ava, Kameron, Billy V, and Lacy Grey. She is also survived by extended family members Jean Loving (Will) (more sister than cousin), Eunice Beal Hassel, Mary Alice Hale (Joe), Caroline Beal, Frank Beal (Kristine), Alice Beal Georgia (Jim), Charlie Mark Beal, David Eilers, Lissa Eilers Johnsen, Mary Barton Ross (Andrew), and many lifelong friends.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Dora's memory to causes that were dear to her: The ALS Association North Carolina Chapter, 4 N. Blount St., Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27601; St. Marks United Methodist Church, Debt Retirement Fund, 4801 Six Forks Rd., Raleigh, NC 27609; and the Springmoor Endowment Fund, 1500 Sawmill Rd., Raleigh, NC 27615.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Dora Cooper Beal
August 16, 2019
Anne, Wes, & Mary Elizabeth,
As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I remember the love and fond memories for and of Dora. She was a friend, a mentor, and just a wonderful human!
I look forward to the day I get to see her again in heaven. I will be able to hug her neck and meet her beloved Billy!
Prayers and Love are sent your way,
Amy (Perry) Outlaw