The son of Frisian immigrants, John Cooper grew up in Clifton, New Jersey, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Throughout his life he had an unwavering faith in God’s love. He died on October 16 at age 94.
After graduating from Rutgers University and Philadelphia’s Westminster Theological Seminary, Cooper was ordained in 1956. He pastored two Reformed (Reformed Church in the United States) churches in North Dakota before serving the following Christian Reformed churches: Forest Community, London, Ont.; Grace, Muskegon, Mich.; East Palmyra, N.Y.; Paramus, N. J.; Bethel, Acton, Ont.; and First, Sarnia, Ont. (as stated supply), where he retired in 1987.
Cooper’s special gift in ministry was his ability to connect with those who were emotionally wounded; alienated from family, church, or society; addicted; incarcerated; or victims of abuse or discrimination. He is remembered as an engaging preacher and teacher. Cooper was also talented at mechanical and technical things. He designed and led construction of the church building in Forest, Ont.
Cooper is lovingly remembered by his sons John, Justin, Jeffrey, Joel, and their wives; 10 grandchildren and spouses; and 8 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by Beatrice, his wife of 53 years, and by daughter-in-law Elizabeth.