Obituary John Albert Cooper

May 16, 2014

John Albert 


John Albert Cooper died Saturday, May 2, 2013 at the age of 89.  After graduation from Van Nuys High School, he enlisted in the US Navy to serve during WWII.  Then, while a student at USCSB, he met the love of his life, Shirley Joy Foster.  They were joined in marriage on January 28, 1950.  

John was recalled to serve in the Navy during the Korean War.  It was during this ‘tour of duty’ that twins, Gaye and Grant were born.  Returning home, he then began his teaching career.  They moved to Santa Paula in 1952, were he taught and coached at SPHS for 34 years.

Joy died last December shortly before they were to celebrate 64 years of marriage.  Their son, Grant, died in 2011.  John is survived by his brother, Paul Cooper, Chimicum, WA, daughters Gaye (Gary) Light of Elgin, SC,  and Sharyn (Dick) McPherson of Olympia, WA, and son Thomas (Jina) Cooper of Santa Rosa, CA.  His grandchildren are Sky and Julie Cooper of Chandler, AZ., Capt. Jeremy and Carmen McPherson, Ft. Rucker  AL, Sgt. Eric and Charity Light, Charleston SC, Nicolle Cooper, Seattle WA,  Jessica Joy and Tim Thwaites, Denver CO, Danielle Cooper, Chandler AZ and Ely Cooper, Santa Rosa, CA. Great-grandchildren are Keegan and Dash Cooper, Madison and Cooper McPherson, Henry Thwaites and “BabyT” (due any day now).  John is also survived by many, many students who will never forget one of their favorite teachers and coach, and countless friends who will miss his warm greeting and boundless enthusiasm. John was a dedicated leader in his church, the First United Methodist Church of Santa Paula. He was passionate about the love and ministry of Jesus Christ, and accordingly the family suggests that instead of sending flowers, a donation might be made to their church or any church or agency whose mission is helping the poor and/or disadvantaged of our community.  The family especially wants to thank Diana Lopez who helped care for John in his last moments.  We are profoundly thankful for her dedication, skill, and the love and care she provided as John came to meet his Maker.

A Celebration of his life will be at 2:00pm, Saturday July 26, 2014, at the Santa Paula United Methodist Church, 133 No. Mill St., Santa Paula, CA.93060.

Reception to follow in Faulkner Hall.

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