William Cooper II

18 Years Old

September 30, 1981 to April 07, 2000

Burl Cooper was born at 12:32 p.m. on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, seven minutes before his twin brother. That seven minutes would play a major part in decision making, the oldest usually getting his way. Their toddler years were spent with each other trying to be a leader, then follower, then leader again. By the time they were teenagers it was established that Burl was the leader, his brother was the follower. They were inseparable. Most of our neighbors and some of our family simply called them "twin" not knowing which one they were talking to. I have a very precious photo of them that looks like a double exposure of the same person, they looked that much alike. I remember Burl trying to convince me that it was all right to have pizza three times a day. His argument was that it satisfies all four food groups, so it had to be nutritious. The crust was bread, the sauce and some toppings were vegetable, pepperoni and sausage the meat, and cheese covered the dairy group. The "perfect" food, according to Burl. He probably could have eaten it three times a day. He was growing into a fine young man. Luckily school work had always come easy to him and his brother. Burl was holding a 3.1 grade point average in advanced classes in his senior year. He was excited about his upcoming graduation and being accepted at MTSU in the fall. He was just discovering, the differences between boyhood and manhood. He seemed to be accepting maturity with grace and honor. He enjoyed playing the devil's advocate, just for arguments sake; this got him into trouble sometimes. He accepted the consequences even if they were too extreme. He was making his mark in this new adult world and he made many friends.

I tried to talk him out of the job that would lead to his murder. I can still hear him saying, "I'm eighteen and harmless, who would want to shoot me?" Invincible, I guess most eighteen-year-olds think they are. He is missed terribly and still loved by so many, myself, of course, as his mom I now know a hurt that will not heal; a twin brother who will carry his grief with him; his then, seven year old brother who Burl treated almost as a son; his new born brother who Burl never got to meet. Burl has a Nana, a Me maw, Aunts, Shannon, Kim, Jennifer, Uncles; Stanley, Craig and David, a great Aunt and Uncle, Kaye and Ronnie, friends, Randy, Mindi, Dustin, Wanda, Martin, Tim, John, and many more. Burl was kind hearted and well thought of by most who knew him. Not a day will ever go by that he is not thought of and missed.


Burl died Friday morning, April 7, 2000 at approximately 4:20 a.m. He was eighteen years, six months and seven days old, much too young to die. A lone gunman came into the store that Burl worked at alone at night to rob it. Burl did not fight him but that cost him his life anyway. The man who so callously shot my son six times was caught by police within eighteen hours of murder. The man charged with Burl's murder had his trial set off again and again, but finally was allowed to plead guilty so that the death penalty would be removed from his sentence. He stood in front of me, not able to tell me why he killed my son, Burt, but confessed to the murder so that his family would not loose their son. May he rot in prison.

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William Copper