In Loving

Nellie C. Hairston

October 13, 1944 – January 6, 2023

Nellie Hairston departed this life peacefully on the morning of Friday, January 6, 2023, at the age of 78.  She was born October 13, 1944, in Gala, Virginia.

Nellie was one of eleven children born to the late Phillip and Elizabeth Cooper. She accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Gala, Virginia.  She graduated from Central Academy High School in Fincastle, Virginia.  She was formerly married to Charles Hairston Sr. and relocated to Roanoke, Virginia where she gave birth to her son Charles.  She worked at Eli Lilly while living there and later relocated to  Richmond, Virginia with her son. After working for many years she retired from Chippenham Manor in 2003.

Nellie and Charles joined St. James Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia in 1990, where she served on the culinary committee and Ladies Auxiliary Usher Board.  She was a loving and dedicated mother to her son and a mother figure to the many children she cared for.

Nellie enjoyed bowling, reading, and the annual Christmas shopping with her niece Erika. She also enjoyed watching her favorite team, the Detroit Lions, playing cards, and family gatherings.  Nellie enjoyed classic TV shows, but you knew never to interrupt her during this time. She was known for her generosity, her cleanliness, and her ironing perfection.

Nellie was preceded in death by her parents, Phillip Cooper, Sr., and Elizabeth Moore Cooper; six brothers, Clarence, Guy, Roy,  Robert, Tom, and Jerry; two sisters, Grace Cooper and Ernestine Gilliam.

She leaves to cherish her memory, a loving and devoted son, Charles; one brother, Phillip Cooper Jr. (Jean) of Richmond, VA; one sister Carolyn Chambers (Stewart) of Roanoke, VA; four sisters-in-law, Cheryl Elaine Cooper of Richmond, VA; Brenda Cooper of Pittsburg, PA; Rev. Arlene Cooper of Clifton Forge, VA, and Brenda Cooper of Richmond, VA, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 14 at St. James Baptist Church, 2169 New Market Road, Richmond, Virginia 23231.

Memorial contributions may be made to Nellie’s son, Charles Hairston.

Celebration of Life Service


St. James Baptist Church
2169 New Market Road
Richmond, Virginia 23231


Saturday, January 14, 202


11:00 a.m.

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