|Charlene L. Vote
Born May 10 1910 died April 30 1981
Mary McLaughlin was the oldest daughter of William Thompson and Olive Luella Haney McLaughlin. She had 10 siblings (one brother and nine sisters). Her lifetime of caring for others started at a very young age helping her mother with the younger children. She married Arthur Prentiss Cooper February 29 1928. They lived in the Manson Iowa area all their lives. Farming was how they choose to make a living; but to live they choose to have children and to help raise other children who needed help to grow and someone to care for them.
There were eight children of their own two sons and six daughters they were: Rose Mary Cooper Heyne Jo Ann Cooper Rittgers Jensen Deremiah Dennis Arthur Cooper Artha Lee Cooper Labath Janice Gay Cooper Oberhart. Charlene Luella Cooper Vote Michael Thomas Cooper and Patricia Diane Cooper Hock born between 1929 and 1949. Then there were the foster children who were far too numerous to recall or to get an accurate count; but for sure well over one hundred.
Mary help young people grow not only by mothering them but she gave her time to them in other ways such as being a 4-H leader for at least seventeen years she also helped with church related children's activities. She felt that children would become what they saw and were taught. She believed that children were the keys to the future. She loved taking care of all people not only children. She graciously cared for her husbands parent until the time of their death as she did her own parents. She willingly took in and cared for anyone in need.
At the time of her death a poem was found in her billfold that perhaps gives an idea of her feelings and thoughts of herself;
I am the queen of a beautiful kingdom God gave it to me for my own. My castle is a rambling old farmhouse And a rocking chair is my thrown. My subjects are dear little children Who willingly come to my call. The king is my husband and father. Who furnishes bread for us all Sometimes when I mend little stockings Or hear a short prayer at my knee I marvel that God in his wisdom. Presented this kingdom to me. I often feel weak and unworthy To guide little footsteps that roam To keep them safe and contented In my beautiful kingdom of home. ~unknown