June 20, 1934 - May 20, 2012
James Ernest Cooper, 77, of Beckley, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, May 20th, 2012, at the Bowers Hospice House after his courageous battle with cancer.
Born June 20, 1934, at Metalton, Raleigh County, WV, he was the son of the late Josiah Ernest Cooper and Wanda Ruth McCormick Cooper of Beckley.
Jim was a 1952 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, 1954 graduate of Beckley College, 1961 graduate of Glenville State where he played baseball for three years. He received his Masters of Social Work degree from West Virginia University in 1961. He was a member of the Raleigh County Shelter Workshop and was instrumental in the creation of the Foster Children’s Christmas Party. He worked for the Department of Human Resources as a social worker and as the supervisor of the Children’s Welfare services. After retiring from the Department of Human Resources he worked as a counselor for the Beckley Veteran’s Center.
Jim served in the United States Air Force from 1954-1958 where he worked in the personnel department at Sampson Air Force Base in Charleston, South Carolina. While serving he was a member of the 444th Air Force division softball and basketball teams.
He was an avid lover of sports. He was the most loyal fan of West Virginia University Mountaineers and the Cincinnati Reds. You could find “Papaw” Jim attending all of his grandsons’ sporting events as well as his granddaughter’s cheerleading competitions and dance recitals. He had a passion for playing golf with his friends.
Jim was a member of Memorial Baptist Church, Beckley, where he served as a trustee and a deacon. He was a member of the Out Reach Sunday School Class. He spent many years as an usher and assisting with “The Living Christmas Tree” program at Memorial. He also served as a Gideon.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ernest Cooper, mother, Wanda Cooper, and sister Barbara Cooper Short.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Lois Moore Cooper, son Jim Cooper and his wife Kelly Miller Cooper, of Statesville, North Carolina, daughter Cheryl Cooper Osborne and her husband, Jeffery Osborne, of Beckley, West Virginia; four grandchildren, Ryne and Jacob Cooper, of Statesville, North Carolina, and Jessica and Brent Osborne of Beckley, West Virginia. A very special niece that he loved like a daughter Karen Short Kutchra of Main. He is also survived by a special friend who was as close as a brother to him, William “Bill” Dawson, of Celina, Ohio.
Jim lived his life for his God, family, and friends.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.
Services will be held Thursday, May 24th, at 2 p.m. at Memorial Baptist Church with Pastor Dr. Charles Bright officiating. Burial will follow in the Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Friends may call at Melton’s’ funeral home Wednesday, May 23rd, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A very special thank you to Lee Ann Cline and the wonderful employees, nurses and volunteers of the Bowers Hospice House.
In lieu of flowers, family requests contributions be made to the Bowers Hospice House of Southern West Virginia, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801.
Pallbearers: Mike Moore, Guy Shelton, Chuck Lucas, Bobby Legg, Bob Maltempie, Randy Hunt and Junior Varney. Special Honorary pallbearer Bill Dawson.