Donnie Audrey Kite Cooper celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday.
She was born Oct. 25, 1917, the oldest of eight children born to Cora and Alvin Kite near the Southwest Oklahoma farming community of Hollis.
Donnie graduated in 1941 with a degree in home economics from Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State), the first in her family to attend and graduate from a university.
The Baptist Student Union was an important component of Donnie’s life while in college. It was there that she met and fell in love with Victor Cooper from Hobart, Oklahoma. They married in 1942 before he was deployed to England and then shipped to fight in France and Germany in World War II.
Their first child, Marilyn, was born weeks before he left and was 18 months old when he returned.
Donnie and Victor lived in Fort Worth while he attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary.
She was a home demonstration agent in Denton. Victor served as minister of education for churches in Springfield, Missouri; Miami, Oklahoma; First Baptist Church Waco and then in Dallas.
They had four children: Marilyn Randy, Ken and Sarah. Donnie taught Sunday School classes, worked in Vacation Bible Schools and shared her artistic talents in many ways.
After their children were grown, Donnie taught school in Dallas. In retirement, they moved back to Waco, and she joined the Central Texas Watercolor Society.
After moving to an assisted living facility, Victor passed away in 2013. Donnie has a good sense of humor, is thoughtful and kind, and takes great pleasure in visits with family and friends. She enjoys writing notes and keeping in touch with family members.
Donnie has, in addition to her four children and their spouses, 13 grandchildren, their spouses and 18 great-grandchildren.