John Gary Cooper, 72, of the Town of Niagara, died on Monday May 28, 2012 at his residence. Born in Blind River, Ontario, Canada he was the son of the late Henry and Isobel (McCoy) Cooper.
Jack attended school in Canada and came to the United States in 1966. On October 16, 1971 he married Sharon K. (O’Leary) Cooper at St. Patrick’s Church in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He was a transport driver, starting as a teenager in Niagara Falls, Ontario at Lococco Brothers, until a few days before his sudden illness. He was also an owner of his own rig hauling boats for Andrew’s Trucking in Virgil, Ontario, Canada from Florida to the North and in between. Jack was his own G.P.S. Other truckers would ask him for the best route and he could tell them the best route, where all the scales were and what the legal hours for hauling were and of course where “SMOKIE” was waiting in every state and town. Jack loved the heat so he stayed in Florida at his “condo,” waiting for his boats to be brought northward.
For his own enjoyment in the 60’s, he began motorcycle racing in the 250cc category. He even went to night school for machine shop to make his own parts for his racing bikes. Jack raced all over Ontario and the U.S.A., winning first or second place in all his races, and was Jr. Canadian champion in the late 1960’s. He even went to the Isle of Man twice to race. Closer to home, Jack played hockey in Canada and the U.S. for many years in the Industrial League and slow-pitch baseball in Canada. He also coached young boys in hockey in the 1980’s. Jack was a former member of the LaSalle Sportsmen’s Club, the Moose Lodge in Lewiston, NY and was a present member of the Buff Club. He also belonged to the Alachua Sporting Club in Florida.
He leaves to mourn his wife of forty years, Sharon, and his daughter Erin K. McClure of Niagara Falls, NY, in whose arms he passed at his home, his cherished grandsons Bradley and Brett McClure who called him Grampie; his sisters Verna (late Romeo) Bonin and Myrtle (Sam) Levesque both of Niagara Falls, Ontario, his brother Vincent Cooper of Niagara Falls, Ontario and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves his mother-in-law Alice (late Joseph B. O’Leary) (late Glendon E.) Clark of Niagara Falls, Ontario and sister-in-law Colleen Gallen and her husband Ron and children Glen and Amber of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Jack was predeceased by his parents Henry and Isobel Cooper and his sister Irene Carr.
There will be no prior visitation. Private services were held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 101 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst NY 14228 or to Niagara Hospice Inc., 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport, NY 14094. Arrangements by M.J.COLUCCI & SON NIAGARA FUNERAL CHAPEL, 2730 MILITARY ROAD, NIAGARA FALLS, NY. Visit www.mjcoluccifuneralchapel.com for online guest register.