Coopy White dies; tribute events planned

Several events planned this weekend to benefit a local business owner Coopy White were muted somewhat by news of his death Tuesday, but will go on as planned in tribute to his legacy, organizers said Wednesday.White, 62, died Tuesday at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where he had been since Oct 7. White was critically injured in a fall at his home two days earlier. Proceeds from the event will be used to help the family defray expenses.He owned and operated Coopy’s Body Shop in Poteau for 23 years. Before that he owned Poteau Paint and Body shop at Pleasant Valley and Broadway.White was known for supporting various charitable causes and helping individuals in need, friends said.He supported veterans, though he was unable to join the military because of a football injury, said Billy Hickman, who worked with White for 20 years.Michelle Gott of All-Star Lounge, where several events will be held, said, "Coopy was the true definition of a genuine friend ...."Two years ago, White bought the "bike of his dreams" — a 2011 Harley Davidson Heritage Softtail, chosen in honor of his Native American heritage, Hickman said."He worked all week to have his weekends free to ride wherever fair weather would allow," Hickman said.The "Coop-You and Barbecue Fundraiser" will be held Saturday and Sunday at Party Farms, 2400 Central St. in Poteau, with some events at other sites. Heidi Ramirez, one of the event organizers, said activities at the Farm will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and include inflatables and children's games with prizes, "redneck games," T-shirt sales and various vendors. A barbecue dinner at $10 a plate will be catered by End of the Trail Saloon, she said.Terry and the Executives will provide live music from 2-4 p.m. White's brother, Alvin, will speak at 4 p.m. with a pie auction including several donated items to follow. Other live music also is planned.Most of the activities will continue Sunday at the Party Farm, she said.A poker run will start at 10 a.m. at the Farm, with registration from 8-10 a.m. The ride will go to the Rock Bar, End of the Trail Saloon, 128 / Ed and Linda's Bar, Long Branch Saloon and back to the Party Farm. The Lounge will host two hours of bowling and laser tag for $10.Terry and the Executives will be at the Party Farm from 3-5 p.m. and at the Lounge at 7 p.m.Long Branch Saloon will not be open Sunday, but will host a barbecue dinner catered by Eli French from noon-4 p.m.Noting White's support for his community, Ramirez said, "We would like to encourage everyone to come and participate in this as well as the Balloon Fest."White was born Aug. 18, 1951, in Talihina. He was preceded in death by his parents, Emmett and Martha Hill; and brother, Dennis White.Survivors include his daughter, Brandy White of Norman; grandchildren, Kyle and Alexis Kirkpatrick; four brothers, Jimmy and Richard White of Talihina, Bill White of North Carolina, Alvin White of Catoosa; and one sister, Cindy Williams of Catoosa.Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center.In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Joe Neff Memorial Scholarship Fund at First National Bank in Poteau or Heavener.Evans and Miller Funeral Home is handling arrangements.