- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - On a stormy summer afternoon, Margie and Harvey Cooper, members of the Berean Bible Church in Algiers, shared some of their most memorable events and cherished memories. They are each 100 years old and have been married for 75 years.

Margie turned 100 years old on July 10 and Harvey turned 100 years old on July 26. They celebrated their 75th anniversary on Sept. 15. They live in the Carrollton area but attend church in Algiers.

Margie was born July 10, 1915 and raised in New Orleans. She attended Lafayette Grammar School and McMain High School on South Claiborne. Harvey was born in Madisonville on July 26, 1915 and moved to New Orleans after high school. He attended Peters High School.

Margie and Harvey met at a fraternity dance. They dated five years. “I had to chase her. It took me a long time to convince her,” Harvey said. “She was a pretty little girl who loved to dance.” ”I thought he was handsome,” Margie said.

They were married on Sept. 15, 1940 and their love has only grown over the years.

When asked about their courtship and memorable things they did throughout their lifetime their eyes lit up.

“We liked feeding the ducks at City Park. We would bring bread and when the ducks saw us they came running,” Harvey said.

They would also go fishing in Empire.

“Many times we caught so many fish we would stand in front of our house and give them away,” Harvey said.

They would also go fishing in Empire.

“Many times we caught so many fish we would stand in front of our house and give them away,” Harvey said.

Some of their favorite times included going on fishing trips because “it was a family affair.” Other activities they did included Hawaiian luaus and crab boils. Margie and her sister, Lucille, cooked the feasts for the luaus.

Also, after crab boils and everyone had their fill, the remaining crabs would be “picked” and the crab meat saved for another delicious meal.

Harvey was a business owner. His company, Dynamic Paint Company on Tulane Avenue, is no longer in existence. He is also the oldest Gideon in Louisiana.

“The Gideons are an association of Christian business men. It is a worldwide organization,” Harvey said.

“Some of the things members do include teaching Bible school, passing out Bibles and visiting prisoners at Angola.”

Margie was also very active. “I taught line dancing and loved to do crafts, sew and exercise,” Margie said. “She sewed all of our clothes,” daughter, Lynn Whichard, said. “Mother and her sister, Lucille, would go to DH Holmes and look at the clothes and then go home and reproduce the fancy clothes they saw including smocking,” Whichard said.

They have three children, Janet Wallace, Ken Cooper and Lynn Whichard and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Their grandchildren are Kelly Cooper Harmon, Eric Cooper, Alicia Wallace Pinnock, Michelle Wallace Allen and Amanda Whichard. Their great grandchildren are Madelyn Cooper, Zachary Cooper, Charleigh Harmon, Ryan Pinnock, Corinne Pinnock, Nicholas Allen and Benjamin Allen.

Their children also have connections to Algiers. Daughter Janet Wallace lived in Algiers with her husband, David, and two daughters. He was stationed at the Belle Chasse Naval Air Station. Lynn Whichard taught kindergarten at a private school in Algiers that is no longer in existence and at Belleville Elementary under Principal Anita Pieto.

Words of advice for young people: “Make sure you go to church to build character,” Harvey said. “Stay on the right side,” Margie said.

The Coopers’ tips for living a long life include: keep close ties with friends and family and maintain a strong faith in God.

“And of course it helps to have good genes,” Harvey said.

Also keeping active mentally and physically are important. Both walk and exercise. Margie enjoys sewing, needlework, ceramics, decoupage and cooking. Harvey stays busy with gardening and woodworking.

When asked what was the secret to being married so long they both looked at each other and paused. The love between these two was so obvious you could feel it.

“Real love - real appreciation for each other and caring for each other in times of need are key,” Harvey said.

When Margie was asked what was the key to long-term love, she looked up and with a twinkle in her eye and a smile said, “I’m sexy!”

Harvey laughed and agreed.


Information from: The Times-Picayune, https://www.nola.com

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