Mary Jane (Bissell) Cooper
(Bissell) Cooper, age 56, born July 04, 1954, died July 03,
Jane, as she insisted on being called, was born to Dean and Nellie Bissell in Mena, Ark. She was almost a native Oregonian, as the family moved to Molalla two months before her first birthday.
Her dad was a log truck driver, and her mom was a stay-at-home mom. Jane was the third of four siblings in a one-income household, so she was no stranger to hard work. She picked strawberries and beans in the summer to pay for school clothes and helped take care of Old Betsy, the milk cow, a number of pigs, chickens and the large garden that provided the family's main source of food.
An avid horsewoman, Jane was especially fond of her favorite quarter horse, Bucky. Jane graduated from Molalla Union High School in 1972, where she served as head majorette on the MUHS award-winning baton twirling team as a senior.
Jane enrolled in the Secretarial Science Program at Oregon State University in the fall of 1972, where she met Alan White Cooper. They were married Aug. 31, 1974. They moved to California, where Jane finished her undergraduate coursework and received her bachelor's degree in accounting from Cal State University, Long Beach.
She accepted a job offer from TRW Corporation, where she was quickly identified by management as a young employee to be fast-tracked into their management development program. Although she left TRW a short time later, Jane had a long and distinguished career as a manager/executive in the corporate accounting world for a number of companies and reached her zenith as a Manufacturing Finance Controller.
Jane was preceded in death by her father, Dean L. Bissell, in 2002. She is survived by her husband, Joel Tanaka of Sherwood; her mother, Nellie Mae Bissell of Molalla; her children, Christopher (Sarah) Cooper and Tiffany Cooper, both of San Diego; her brother, Edward (Janette) Bissell of Salem; her sisters, Peggy (Larry) Koppes of Vancouver, Wash. and Sherrie Goddard of Silverton.
Jane's qualities that so endeared her to us can best be described by the following eulogy written by her husband Joel Tanaka:
A celebration of life for close friends and family was held Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Arrowhead Golf Course Farmstead Restaurant, followed by interment at Adams Cemetery in Molalla.
Published in The Oregonian on July 8, 2011