Obituary of John Cooper
Rev. John Cooper
John Cooper, a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, went to be with the Lord on October 16. He was preceded in death by his parents and six siblings, his beloved wife, Beatrice, and his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth. He is lovingly remembered by his living siblings, Jesse, Sidney, and Edward (Berdella), and siblings-in-law, Alice, Albert Drost, and Joanne; his sons and their wives, John and Sylvia, Justin and Jessie, Jeffrey and Arlene, and Joel and Mary; his grandchildren, Jeremy (and Debra), Nathan (and Carmen), Jesse, Roanna, Vanessa, John (and Julia), Catherine (and Randy), Andrew (and Laura), Benjamin, and Monica; and his great-grandchildren, Aidan, Samuel, Noah, Matthias, Seth, Kathryn, Emily, and Timothy.
John was born in 1924, fifth of the ten children of Samuel and Anna Cooper, who immigrated from Friesland, the Netherlands. He grew up in Clifton, New Jersey, served in the US Army during World War II, and married Bea in 1946. He graduated from Rutgers University and Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. An ordained minister, he served Reformed (US) churches in North Dakota and Christian Reformed churches in Forest, Ontario; Muskegon, Michigan; East Palmyra, New York; Paramus, New Jersey; Acton, Ontario; and Sarnia, Ontario, where he retired in 1987. He preferred to serve churches that were small and in need of pastoral support. He was especially attentive to the marginalized—people who were emotionally wounded, addicted, incarcerated, victims of abuse or discrimination, or alienated from their families or churches. In addition to ministry, he was gifted at mechanical and technical things. He repaired his own cars, remodeled his own house, and could fix almost anything. He designed and supervised construction of the church building in Forest, Ontario. He treasured his family and friends greatly and spent time with them whenever possible. Deepest and most basic in his life, from early childhood to his final days, was unwavering faith that “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Visitation is on Friday, October 19, 7-8:30 PM at 1st Christian Reformed Church in Sarnia (corner of Exmouth and Murphy). A service of thanksgiving for John Cooper’s life will be held at 1st CRC on October 20 at 11 AM, preceded by interment in Blackwell Cemetery next to Beatrice. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages a donation to Redeemer University College (777 Garner Rd. E., Ancaster ON L9K 1J4; www.redeemer.ca) or Calvin Theological Seminary (3233 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546; www.calvinseminary.edu), which he generously supported. Arrangements entrusted to the McKENZIE & BLUNDY FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE (519-344-3131). Messages of condolence and memories may be left at www.mckenzieblundy.com
Phone: (519) 344-3131
431 N. Christina St.
Sarnia, Ontario N7T 5V8