Town Mourns Loss of Community Leader
Lexington mourned the death of one of its community leaders and one of the founders of the Lexington EMS last week. Rev. Reuel Cooper, who served as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington for 23 years and, most recently, as the interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Dime Box for 14 years, and who served on the Lexington City Council, passed away on Wednesday, October 26, after a battle with cancer.
He was a member of the Lexington Rotary Club, Lexington Masonic Lodge #138, Lexington Eastern Star Chapter #996 and director of the Lexington EMS for 30 years.
In 1982, Reuel Cooper and Jamie Wright went to the City of Lexington to request their assistance in starting a local Emergency Medical Service operation. The City granted their request. Louis Dussetschleger and his son, Buster Dussetschleger, along with Lonnie Cunningham, signed a personal note to purchase the first ambulance/ station wagon for the organization, which was paid off the first year of operation.
In 2003, the Lexington EMS became a separate non-profit organization from the City, and Reuel, along with Linda Patschke, who has been with the EMS for 30 years also, took responsibility for all aspects of the non-profit.
Rev. Cooper is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lanelle Cooper; four sons, Reuel “ Buddy” Cooper, Jr. of Lexington, Thomas Edgar Cooper and wife Pam of Indianapolis, Indiana, Billy Wade Cooper and wife Nova of Bryan, Richard Russell Cooper of Lexington; 12 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
Michael Milburn has been selected to serve as the interim Administrator of the Lexington EMS, following the death of Reuel.
Co-founder of the Lexington EMS, Jamie Wright, also died of cancer three weeks ago.