Ray John Cooper “Coop”

Date of Birth

May 28, 1936

Date of Death

March 28, 2017

John Cooper of Santa Barbara, CA passed away March 28, 2017. Born May 28, 1936 in St. Louis Missouri to Ray Cooper and Esther Cooper (Haynes), John attended local schools where he met his wife Beverly (Wehmeyer) while attending High School. They married in July of 1955 and were soon blessed with three of their five daughters.

In 1959, they moved to Santa Barbara but quickly grew homesick, so they returned to St. Louis and convinced three other young families (and Beverly’s Mom!) to move to Santa Barbara with them. “Coop” led the caravan of young parents, toddlers, old cars and suitcases and headed west. With good friends and family for support and the happy arrival of two more daughters, Santa Barbara became home.

John was a carpenter, often working multiple jobs to give “his girls” a better life than he’d had. He was a roofer, framed countless houses, built fences, poured concrete and laid carpet, whatever it took. He was not afraid of hard work and sacrificed many, many comforts to provide for his family. Coop was a popular guy and mentored many younger tradesmen who still speak fondly of him. His skill as a builder served him well when, in the 90’s, John and Beverly built a vacation home on the shoreline of Pinnacle Lake, west of St. Louis, which they enjoyed with family members during many extended summers. John loved nature and crackling fires, old westerns, peach cobbler and his family.

He is survived by Beverly, his wife of 62 years, four daughters; Denny Cooper (Fred Warrecker), Rhonda Cooper-Brown (Geoff Brown), Robyn Cooper and Michelle Cooper (Danny Legere) 8 Grandchildren, 9 great-grand children and by 2 brothers and 3 sisters along with many loving cousins. He was preceded in death by his daughter Cynthia and his parents. A memorial service will be held at Good Shepard Lutheran Church on April 22 at 11:00 AM followed by a celebration of his life.


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