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Story Last modified at 8:48 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ron D. Cooper


Ron D. Cooper

Nov. 12, 1939 – April 4, 2011

Ron D. Cooper, 71, of Eagle River died in his home April 4, 2011. Family and friends gathered at the home of lifelong friend George Morris for a private service.

Cooper was born Nov. 12, 1939, in Malden, Mo., to John and Loretta Cooper.

He came to Alaska in 1961 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He chose Alaska to be his home for the remainder of his life and made Eagle River his home for 20 years. Cooper served the community for 18 years as owner of Eagle River Appliance, along with partner Guy Rearick.

Cooper enjoyed many years of fishing, hunting and snowmachining throughout Alaska. "Coop," as his many friends called him, never missed an opening day of duck hunting. In recent years, he took up golf and enjoyed the challenge of the game, making yearly trips for golf and football games with his sons. He was a member of the Alaska Sports Car Club and the Porsche Club where he was a champion racecar driver while living in Anchorage.

His family said, "Ron's grandchildren were the highlight of his life. They were the joyful recipients of his woodworking skills and enjoy many of his handcrafted toys. He never missed a single game or recital of any of his children or grandchildren. Often in his later years, he would return home covered in glitter. He will be missed greatly."

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Loretta Cooper, and brother Larry.

Cooper is survived by his devoted wife, Joyce Little, of Eagle River; brothers, Jack and Terry of Michigan; sisters, Pam and Suzanne of Michigan; sons, Aaron and Jason of Washington; daughters and son-in-laws, Russ and Laura Simkins of Eagle River and Juli and Harold Wilson of Valdez; daughters, Jolynn Mattson and Rae Ann Metcalf of Washington; grandchildren, Savanna and Jaime Simkins of Eagle River, Trevor Hodge and Roseanne Wilson of Valdez, and Zachary Cooper, Taylor Metcalf, Alexandria Metcalf, Blake Metcalf, Madison Metcalf and Jackson Metcalf of Washington.

Cooper's family will spread his ashes at a later date at his cabin by the lake.

Per the family's request, donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans or a charity of your choice.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.