Janice Kay (Cooper) Stotts, of McLoud, OK, passed away peacefully at her home on January 22, 2023. She was born to Paul and Marjorie (See) Cooper in Neosho, MO, on September 3, 1953, the youngest of their five children. In difficult farming times, when Janice was 10 months old, the family moved to Ames, OK, where they were welcomed by family and a community of unparalleled neighbors. It was in the halls of Ames Public Schools where Janice was inspired to become a teacher. Ames was a tiny school (15 in her Class of 1971), but excellence was the standard. Ames also became the courting place of Janice and John after meeting at a summer softball game in Loyal, OK. They were married at the Ames Church of Christ on August 7, 1971, and celebrated their 50th anniversary on August 7, 2021, with a celebration of family, friends and the blessing of the gift of life. Janice graduated with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees (Summa Cum Laude). She led the graduation procession as Class Marshal at Central State University.
In 1974, Janice was hired to teach Senior English at McLoud High School. She was 20 years old when her Seniors entered her classroom on her first day of school. She taught 29 years before her retirement in 2003. Janice saw the possibilities in all her students and worked tirelessly for their success. She also sponsored the Senior Class each of those years with graduation day being the capstone of her students’ Senior experience. It was her proudest day of the year, lining up the two rows of graduates, making sure they had their “one shining moment” marching through the graduation arches.
After a brief retirement, Janice worked for 13 legislative sessions at the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She was legislative assistant to Representatives Terry Harrison, Ryan Kiesel, Brian Renegar, and with Jerry McPeak for 12 years. Janice grew to love new friends in the Capitol hallways. Her favorite days were the ones when she helped the people of her representatives' districts. Janice lived a life of service. She was elected to the Oklahoma Education Association’s Board of Directors, served on the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Client Security Fund and on the Pioneer Library System’s Board of Directors. She worked tirelessly within the community to raise funds for a “brick and mortar” library, which celebrated 25 years of service in May of 2022.
Janice stressed the recognition of academic success and was humbled when the annual high school academic awards were named the Janice Stotts Letter Jacket program. In her later years of community service, Janice was impassioned by the mission of the McLoud School Foundation. Her work was instrumental in helping to raise funds for teacher grants and student scholarships, in addition to growing endowed funds, a lasting legacy for the school she loved so much. Janice loved traveling and planning their next adventure with Perry and Donna Wynn, sunsets in Maui, her Hazel Dell Road family, and running the cattle chore route with John in the red truck. Most of all, she felt blessed by the closeness of her family and looked forward to every gathering but especially their weekly Sunday suppers.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Dan Ray Cooper and Dick Cooper, and brother-in-law Phillip Stotts.
She is survived by her husband John of McLoud, son John Carl and wife Stacy of McLoud, Jimmy and wife Alicia of McLoud, and precious granddaughter Olivia Kay Stotts. Also surviving her is her sister Louise Maynard (Ron) of Mankato, MN; brother Eddie Cooper (Carol) of Drummond; sister-in-law Vicki Cooper of Lubbock, TX. Also, sisters-in-law LeeAnn (Rick) of McLoud, Rhonda (Mike) of Newalla, and sister-in-law Karen Stotts of Shawnee, in addition to a host of beloved nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their sincerest gratitude to Dr. Lara Theobald, and all the medical staff, who helped give her the best care possible and an extra 10 years of life.
A funeral ceremony will be held Friday, January 27, 2023, at 10:00 AM at the Choctaw Church of the Nazarene in Choctaw, OK with a graveside ceremony at 3:00 PM at the Ames Cemetery in Ames, OK.
For those unable to attend Janice's funeral in person, you may join us online at either of the following links:
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the McLoud School Foundation-Janice Stotts Memorial Scholarship Fund. Online donations can be made at: http://mcloudschoolfoundation.org. Checks may be sent to: McLoud School Foundation, Attn: Janice Stotts Memorial Scholarship Fund, PO Box 802, McLoud, OK 74851.