Louise & Jim Cooper, Jr. Family Fund

TYPE OF FUND:  Designated            DATE ESTABLISHED:  1999 

PURPOSE:  To provide funds for the needy in memory of Louise and Jim Cooper, Jr.

DISTRIBUTION:  Annual grants to the Blackwater Ministerial Association upon the recommendation of the Grants Committee and approval by the Board of Directors of TCF. 

VARIANCE POWER: If, in the judgment of the TCF Board of Directors, the restrictions and conditions of the fund become unnecessary, incapable of fulfillment or inconsistent with the charitable needs of the community, the TCF Board of Directors maintains the right to modify the terms of this fund. 

FUNDING:  Donations made by the children of Louise and Jim Cooper, Jr.:  Jim Cooper, III, Carol Stark, Ida Slezak and Susan Wingfield initiated the fund in January of 1999.   Donations may be made by friends and family at any time. 

BACKGROUND:  Jim Calvin Cooper, Jr. was born Dec. 5, 1902 in Davis, WV, one of the eight children of James Calvin and Zora Smith Cooper.   He was a 1920 graduate of Davis High School.  In 1925 he opened Coopers Department Store in Thomas where sales included men’s clothing, appliances, radios, etc.  He also owned and operated Coopers Insurance beginning in l940 and he operated a dry cleaning plant in the rear of his store for more than 20 years.  Mr. Cooper served on Thomas City Council, he was mayor of Thomas in 1958 and he was a member of the WV House of Delegates 1939-40.  He was a charter member (1945) of Thomas-Davis Lions club.  He was distinguished as being the longest living baptized person of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Davis, and at the time of his death, he and his wife had been long time members of the Thomas Presbyterian Church.  Mr. Cooper died Aug. 28, 1994. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.  He was preceded in death by 3 sisters:  Virginia Cooper, Mary Schurman and Ruth Cooper, and 4 brothers:  J. Stuart Cooper, Thomas R. Cooper, Martin L. (“Red”) Cooper, and William Conley Cooper.

Louise Johnson Cooper was born Feb. 15, 1909 in Coketon, WV, one of five children of Joseph Emil and Ida Augusta Johnson.  She was a graduate of Thomas High School and attended Potomac State College.  She was an elder in the Thomas Presbyterian Church; she taught in the public school system in Thomas and she assisted Jim in his business.  She was a member of Walter Chapter 43, Order of Eastern Star.  Mrs. Cooper died May 7, 1983 at the age of 74.  Her siblings were Dr. Carl Johnson, Bernard Johnson, Harry Emil (Jack) Johnson and Virginia Wooden.

Jim and Louise were the parents of four children: James Calvin Cooper, III moved to Canaan Valley after retiring from the US Army in 1984.  A graduate of West Point, he joined his father in the family insurance business after retiring from the service. Carol Ann Cooper Stark of Spokane, WA, a graduate of WVU, is the mother of 4 children:  Richard Stark, the Reverend Cynthia Stark Carter, David Stark and Nancy Stark Montstream. Ida Louise Cooper Victorson Slezak was a superintendent of schools in Sonoma County, CA and is the mother of 2 sons, Steven and David Victorson. Susan Cooper Wingfield of Bedford, MA was a program coordinator for computer courses and electronic meeting facilitator / technographer for the MITER Corporation, and has 2 daughters, Melissa and Jennifer Wingfield.