June 21, 1924 – July 31, 2021
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Our treasured, most precious father, grandfather and great-grandfather has departed and left us with fondest memories at the ripe old age of 97, on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at the DVA Pavilion. Jim was pre-deceased by his wife, Phyllis (Downs) in 2013, his brothers, Jack and Bill and sister Rita Howard. Left with loving memories are children: Bob (Beverly), Gary (Mary), Perry (Cindy); daughters: Cathy Hammond (Dave), Roseinna Murray (Bill Skanes), Christina Manning (Denis); grandchildren: John Cooper (Kristi), John Power (Andrea Charette), Miranda Cooper, Lindsay Cooper, Gord Halley (Judy Skinner), Stephen Halley (Nellie Mayo), Jeffory Hammond (Christine McGrath), Jason Murray, Melissa Thibault (Jason), Billy Murray (Robyn), Dawn Hinchey (Stephen), Matthew Manning, Melanie Savoy (Cory); numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews; brother Eric Cooper; sisters: Bridget Cooper and Shirley Power; special nephew and his family: Al Moakler.
Jim was born in St. John’s to William Cooper and Catherine (Woolridge). As a boy he spent many happy times in Dunfield, Trinity Bay, his mother’s birthplace. He attended St. Pat’s School, but was never fond of schooling! He was a proud member of the Basilica Choir and boasted on many occasions about singing the ‘Latin’ hymns. Some of his fondest memories were of spending time as a youth hanging out with ‘the gang’ on Bond Street and Field Street getting into who knows what!! He met the ‘love of his life’ Phyllis in 1944. They spent some years in Dartmouth, N.S. where Jim was a taxi driver and ambulance driver. Upon returning to St. John’s, Jim worked with the Department of Highways as a chauffeur for Premier Joey Smallwood, snowplow mechanic and operator and mail courier. He had strong opinions and always stood his ground. He was an avid activist with the NAPE union and wrote many letters to ‘The Editor’ in support of the union. Fishing trips with family and friends to Third Pond and Witless Bay were highlights of his life. He bowled with the St. Pat’s Bowling League and won many trophies for his excellence. Being a coach for the YBC made him most fulfilled and proud!
In the later years he resided with Phyllis at the Caribou Legion Manor where they had many friends. He had a great love of music and relaxed most evenings with Phyllis having a ‘night cap’ to the tunes of his favourites – Neil Diamond, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to name a few. Jim loved long scenic car rides with Phyllis, ending the day with a game of cards with family in Tors Cove, Salmonier Line or Topsail. Nan Downs was furious with him for going 30 for 60 with only the ace of hearts!
He was the world’s most outstanding grandfather, always getting into trouble for buying $30 worth of candy!! He loved playing pranks with the grandkids, going to the grocery store and rolling tin cans off the shelves or opening a bag of peas and shaking them onto the floor. He would complain to the clerk that someone made a mess!! The kids would laugh so hard!! Easter parties and Halloween monsters were his specialty!! His stories about ghosts, fairies and leprechauns will be forever cherished and etched in their minds!
Dementia and stroke eventually found Jim over the past several years. His gentleness and smiles were infectious at this stage of his life. The warmth of his little grin and sweetness towards the staff at the DVA Pavilion would melt your heart! Words cannot express our deepest gratitude to them for their outstanding care over the past two years, especially the comfort for dad and our family during the past week of his suffering! You were his guardian angels sent from above!
Jim’s motto was always ‘the best is yet to come’. Well, you have finally reached that ‘BEST’ plateau!!
There will never be another Jim Cooper – the little man with the biggest heart!!
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Visitation at Caul’s Funeral Home, LeMarchant Road on Tuesday, August 3rd from 2 – 4 pm and 7 -9 pm. Mass of burial at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist on Wednesday, August 4th , 2021 at 11 am. Those who wish to attend the Funeral Mass must register with the family, for anyone not able to attend, the Funeral will be live-streamed at www.thebasilica.net Burial to follow at Holy Seplchure Cemetery.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of James Cooper 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Torbay, Province: T-N