Mrs. Phyllis Norton Cosper, age 88, of Lindale, GA, passed away on Sunday, April 23, 2023, at her residence.
Mrs. Cosper was born in Piedmont, AL, on September 19, 1934, daughter of the late Emmett S. Norton and the late Zoe F. Norton. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Olan Lee Cosper, Jr., and by 2 brothers, Judson Fowler and Jack Fowler. Mrs. Cosper was an educator all of her adult life and made education a priority. She had received her bachelors, masters and education specialists’ degrees after attending West Georgia, Jacksonville State University, Berry College and Shorter College. Mrs. Cosper loved flower arrangements and was integral in the Lindale Garden club winning the State Championship in flower arrangements. She enjoyed Jeopardy and, contrary to popular belief, would beat her son, Mark, anytime the show was on. Mrs. Cosper was a member of Silver Creek Presbyterian Church where her love of music led her to serve as the pianist and organist for many years.
Mrs. Cosper began her long and illustrious teaching career in Jefferson County, AL, where she taught in the Birmingham area for a year. After stopping in Rome on her way to Atlanta, she found a teaching job in Lindale, GA, at Pepperell High School where she became the first female band director in the County. It was in Lindale Mrs. Cosper met the love of her life, Olan Lee Cosper, and the two began their courtship. She went on to further her own education in her hiatus from teaching but went back to her passion of influencing the lives of so many students. Mrs. Cosper taught in the Rome City School district and fell in love with teaching at East Rome Jr. High School where she taught English and Physical Education and was also instrumental in organizing the first girls track team. Her team won region and state in its inaugural season. It was during this time she hosted Claudia Polke Hann, an exchange student, who has since received her doctorate and serves as a research doctor in Berlin.
In the 90’s her love of teaching and travel led her and her husband to accept a contract from the Department of Defense and began teaching English in Iceland for 3 years. After Iceland, they made their way to England for another year of teaching. Her time in Europe allowed her to witness firsthand, the fall of the Berlin Wall and even securing a piece for herself and crossing the famed “Checkpoint Charlie” only moments before. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Cosper felt led to travel and teach once again. She taught English in Japan at the Naval base for a year before returning home for good.
Survivors include her 2 sons, Scott Cosper (Lori), Lindale, and Mark Cosper (Terri), Lindale; 2 step-daughters, Leigh Hoffner (Rick), and Elisabeth Ogletree (Robb); 4 grandchildren, Amanda Parker (Dan), Austin Meyers (Chuck) Sam Cosper and Savannah Morgan; 3 great-grandchildren, Sloane Parker, Wylie Meyers and Abigail Meyers; numerous nieces, nephews and the countless lives she touched.
In accordance with her wishes, Mrs. Cosper will be cremated and a Celebration of her Life will be held at 3pm on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at Silver Creek Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Camille Josey and the Rev. Jan Rhodes will officiate and her son, Mark, Dr. Chris Barnes, and Neal Smith will deliver the eulogies.
The family will receive friends from 5pm until 8pm on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel.
Honorary pallbearers are to assemble by 2:30pm on Sunday at Silver Creek Presbyterian Church and include any former students as well as those whose lives have been impacted by Mrs. Cosper and the Cosper family.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Amedisys Hospice for their compassion and tireless care of Mrs. Cosper. Your work does not go unnoticed and is appreciated more than you will ever know.
Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, has charge of funeral arrangements.