Grand Ole Opry Member Wilma Lee Cooper Passes Away At The Age Of 90
September 16, 2011 at 10:53 AM (PT)
GRAND OLE OPRY member WILMA LEE COOPER passed away on TUESDAY (9/13) at her home in SWEETWATER, TN from natural causes. She had been a member of the OPRY since 1957 and was 90 years old. Her last solo performance on the OPRY was at the RYMAN AUDITORIUM in DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE on FEBRUARY 24th, 2001. She also joined the OPRY cast at the grand re-opening of the OPRY HOUSE in NASHVILLE on SEPTEMBER 28th, 2010 for a group sing-along.
WILMA LEE is known for performing with her late husband, champion fiddler STONEY (DALE T.) COOPER, starting in the 1940s. The COOPERS had success with songs like “The Legend of the Dogwood Tree,” “Little Rosewood Casket,” “Sunny Side of the Mountain,” “Wreck on the Highway,” and “PHILADELPHIA Lawyer.” WILMA LEE and STONEY are members of the WEST VIRGINIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME.
WILMA LEE continued performing with her group THE CLINCH MOUNTAIN CLAN after STONEY’s death in 1977, and was appearing on the OPRY regularly until a stroke suffered on stage in 2001 forced her to cease performing. She is survived by her daughter CAROL LEE COOPER, granddaughter VANESSA BRUSSEAU and her husband MARK and granddaughter SHANNON ROGERS and her husband MARK.
Per WILMA LEE’s wishes there will not be a memorial service.