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 Besse Berry “Bess” <I>Brown</I> Cooper

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Besse Berry “Bess” Brown Cooper

  • Birth 26 Aug 1896 Sullivan County, Tennessee, USA
  • Death 4 Dec 2012 Monroe, Walton County, Georgia, USA
  • Burial Between, Walton County, Georgia, USA
  • Memorial ID 72757281

Besse Cooper died peacefully around 2 p.m.

When she turned 116 in August, a bridge was named in her honor in Monroe. Besse Cooper wasn't able to attend the dedication, but smiled when told of the honor, her family said.

She was born Aug. 26, 1896, in Tennessee, but moved to Walton County during World War I to teach because teachers in Georgia made more money, her son previously told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She married her husband Luther in 1924 and stopped teaching school when she had her first child at age 33. Luther Cooper died in 1963.

In a 2011 interview with the AJC, Cooper's family credited her lifestyle and genes for her longevity.

"I mind my own business and I don't eat junk food," she said at her 113th birthday celebration.

Besse Cooper died peacefully at the Park Place nursing home in Monroe, Georgia, according to her son Sidney Cooper.

"She looked real good when she passed away," the 77-year-old Cooper told Reuters, saying his mother died quietly and without suffering.

"She got up this morning, had a big old breakfast and got her hair fixed," he said. "It's just like she got up planning to do it."

He said his mother, who taught school until her first child was born in 1929, had four children. All of them survived her and are still in good health, he said.

"She lived in three centuries. Don't many people do that," said Cooper. He added that his mother died after a brief bout of breathing trouble that put her back in bed after lunch.

Besse Cooper was first certified as the world's oldest person by Guinness World Records in January 2011.

Family Members


  • Created by: SSBJ��
  • Added: 4 Jul 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 72757281
  • SSBJ��
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Besse Berry “Bess” Brown Cooper (26 Aug 1896–4 Dec 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 72757281, citing New Hope United Methodist Church Cemetery, Between, Walton County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by SSBJ�� (contributor 46954568) .