James (Jim) Cooper was born at home in Center, Colorado, August 13, 1925, to Silas Verne and Audra Konence Cooper. He was the youngest son of the couple who made their home North of Center were they farmed for many years. Jim graduated from Center High School in 1942. Shortly after graduation he enlisted in the Army Air Corp. during WWII serving with the 2126th AAF BU.
He was stationed in Alabama where he trained as an Aerial Gunner. After leaving the Army Air Corp Jim returned to Center to farm potatoes.
He met and married Virginia Yates in Del Norte at the home of William and Arlan Yates, parents of the bride on January 4, 1948. The couple made their home North of Center from 1948 to 1959. They moved to Monte Vista in 1959 were Jim worked for Monte Electric. In 1961 Jim started Cooper Drilling which has serviced the irrigation needs of the San Luis Valley for over 57 years. The company is currently owned and operated by Jim’s sons David and Mike Cooper both of Monte Vista.
Jim and Virginia had seven children, Harold Dean, Gloria, Donna, David, Greta, Audra and Mike.
Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping throughout his life in the Valley. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed keeping busy with his many chores.
He was known by many as Grandpa with a gruff voice, but for those who know he his bark was worse than his bite.
Jim was proceeded in death by his parents, his siblings, Carrie Kathleen (Twite), Silas Verne Jr, Robert and Phyllis (Ackley). His wife of 64 years Virginia and eldest son Harold Dean Cooper.
Survivors are his children Gloria (Rudie) Landis, Donna (Carl) Matchett, David Cooper, Greta (Kernek) McDonald, Audra Cooper and Mike (Lori) Cooper.
Twenty grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren.
Jim’s Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 19th at 1 PM at Strohmayer Funeral Home, followed by a reception of friends and family at Mountain View Restaurant in Monte Vista at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers please send Memorial Donations to the Rio Grande Hospital, 310C County Rd 14, Del Norte, CO 81132.