NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Joanne Marie Cooper Bell passed away on Saturday, September 23.

She was born on September 21, 1936 at New Castle Hospital in New Castle, Pennsylvania. She was the middle child of three born to Ollie Mae and James Arnold Cooper. Their marriage was the first recorded at St. John United Holy Church of America in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

She is survived by her only birth child, Ava Larraine Cooper-Taite.

She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, James and Charlotte.

Joanna has a host of brothers and sisters in Chicago, Illinois. 

Educated in New Castle School system, Joanna furthered her education attending Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio.

Joanne met Bishop H.O. Latta at Pentecostal United Holy Church when she was 18, after giving her heart to Jesus at St. Johns United Holy Church under the Pastorate of Sister Gussie Walker. 

Joanne was united in Holy Matrimony to Arthur James Lawson, at the home of her grandparents Marianna and Bum Pa Cooper in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Arthur’s mother, Vashti and his sister, Mattie Lee assisted with the wedding. Arthur and Joanna eventually relocated to Cleveland, Ohio and Los Angeles, California. 

After realizing her call to ministry and reuniting with the Lord in Los Angeles, Joanne returned to Ohio and joined Pentecostal Tabernacle under the Pastorate of Bishop Abrahm Pippens. Sanctioned by M.D. Borden. Joanne ministered in all the nursing homes on the East Side of Cleveland, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

She continued to work as a receptionist at Cleveland State University and working for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio assisting the paraplegic population. During her employment career, Joanne was a licensed insurance agent for AAA Auto and Bankers Life and Casualty. Her volunteer service included ten years as a receptionist for the Red Cross in Cleveland, Ohio and working with the homeless population. Joanne assisted her mother in the city-wide clothing giveaway.  

Joanne loved her children’s ministry and served in the Sunday School Nursery at Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles, California. Additionally, she served as the weekend all-night intercessory prayer minister at Crenshaw. After returning to Cleveland, Ohio, Minister Cooper continued her service for the Lord in the United Holy Church of America as a Sunday School Superintendent, Secretary of the District Union, and Secretary to the Missionary Department, as well as holding many offices in the church and assisting as a team member in the Clean up efforts. 

Minister Joanne Cooper leaves to forever cherish her memory, her loving daughter, brothers, and sisters.  

Arrangements handled by J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.

A television tribute will air Thursday, October 5 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.