Shelley Rae (Berry) Cooper, 61, of Nebraska City, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa, from complications of Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
 Shelley was born Dec. 28, 1956, in Fairfax, Mo., to James LeRoy Berry and Violet Lorraine (Powell) Berry.
Being one of 13 children to "LeRoy" and Violet, she learned from a young age how to work hard and sometimes worked multiple jobs to raise her children.
 She attended elementary school in Nebraska City and graduated from Sidney High School in Sidney, Iowa, in 1975.
While in high school, Shelley was very active in athletics, speech, plays and other activities.
She was a class vice-president and always enjoyed taking on leadership roles.
She thrived in public speaking and loved to write - a passion that began in her youth as she held the editor position of the high school's newspaper, The Spur, and was the Press Club's president.
She delighted in retelling the year's happenings "Down on the Farm"  to friends and family and had a natural knack with words.
She was the Winterball princess and a homecoming queen candidate.
She was also a brilliant artist. She, along with three other classmates, still holds the school's record for the 10-flight shuttle hurdle relay.
She attended Omaha Art School in Omaha's Old Market District, Peru State College and Southeast Community College.
She married her high school sweetheart, Phillip Alan Carlson, July 26, 1979, in New Orleans, La.
From their union they had two children, Nikki Dawn Carlson and Dustin Keefe Carlson.
Throughout their marriage, Shelley played in softball leagues and enjoyed camping, fishing, working on remodeling projects and spending time with family and friends.
She was also a whiz chess player and learned how to play while attending art school.
She taught her children and grandson how to play.
She later married Gary Floyd Cooper of Nebraska City on Jan. 7, 2011, in Auburn. However, they had been together for 31 years until Gary's passing on June 27, 2017.
She held many jobs throughout her life, but she had spent most of her career at American Meter Co. and Walmart.
She had worked at Walmart since the store opened 11 years ago.
In that time, she was a cashier, in charge of the Garden Center - which she enjoyed a lot - and worked in the Receiving Department. She worked in the Claims Department until her passing.
She also waitressed at Johnny's Corner Cafe where she and her sister, Sheila Neeman, donated their tips to raise money for their sister, Shirley Jo Thompson, of Picayune, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina had struck.
Shelley always extended a helping hand to others and frequently helped with fundraisers around town.
 Shelley and her late-husband, Gary, were the co-owners of Boo's Pumpkin Patch for nine years on their farm.
It was small and geared for locals to take their younger children, but affordable for all.
 The pumpkin patch was named after their grandson, Austin Carlson, whom they had raised and affectionately nicknamed "Boo."
Shelley and Gary loved seeing children pick their own pumpkins to take home and rewarded those who were the bravest to make it through their free haunted house with candy.
The duo also took off work to open their patch up to school children and Region 5.
All of the artwork at Boo's was hand-drawn by Shelley, including Boo the Ghost who wore eyeglasses.
Their grandson was the light of their lives. Boo's last season was October 2016 due to Gary's passing.
 Shelley always put her family and friends first, even above herself.
She had a heart of gold and would give you the shirt off of her back if it was needed.
She was a humble, strong and private woman. When Shelley was diagnosed with NSCLC Jan. 22, 2018, her goal was to see her grandson graduate from high school. She had one more year to go.
Shelley and Gary loved to take their grandson camping, fishing, kayaking and frequently attended air shows.
Shelley and Gary loved going on boating trips with friends and hosted card parties at their home.
Anytime they could host a party or dance to old country songs, they did.
Shelley loved her dogs, gardening, making beef jerky and salsa, collecting lanterns and candles, Sudoku puzzles, playing cards, gatherings and shopping at garage sales and thrift stores.
She taught her children to always be themselves and loved them unconditionally.
She is survived by her children Nikki Carlson of Sidney, Dustin Carlson of Omaha, Tiffany (Steve) Stoner and family of Platte City, Mo., James (Steve) Cooper of Sioux Falls, S.D., Dustenette Cooper of Lincoln, Shandra (David) Cooper of Hickman, and family, and Gary Cooper II and family of Nebraska City; grandchildren Austin Jeffrey Carlson of the home and Olivia Zofija Carlson of Omaha; mother Violet Berry of Percival; sisters Sheryl Briley of Nebraska City, Sharon Starner of Sidney, Sharleen (Billy) Sutterfield of Lena, Miss., Sheila (Ron) Neeman of Nebraska City, Sharla (Michael) Wilson of Clarinda, Iowa, Sherry (Shane) Reeves of Nebraska City, and Shawn (Bryan) Stukenholtz of Nebraska City; brothers James (Angie) Berry of Coin, Iowa, Jerry (Karen) Berry of Sidney, Dave Berry of Sidney and Darrell (Theresa) Berry of Tampa, Fla.; numerous nieces, nephews, brother- and sister-in-laws and friends.
 She was preceded in death by her husband, Gary Cooper, of Nebraska City; father LeRoy Berry of Percival; and sister Shirley Thompson of Picayune.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 24, at 10:30 a.m. at Gude Mortuary in Nebraska City with Terry Weible officiating. Burial will follow at Wyuka Cemetery. A luncheon will take place at the Eagles Club following graveside services.
 The family will greet friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Gude Mortuary.
 A "Shelley (Berry) Cooper Benefit" fund has been set up at Premier Bank in Nebraska City to help the family pay for Shelley's medical expenses.
Remembrances may be left at Gude Mortuary in Nebraska City is in charge of arrangements.