Representative James J. Cooper View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 12/20/2013
Birth Place: Corning
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Assemblies Served:
House: 70 (1983) - 72 (1987)
Home County: Lucas
James J. Cooper
Lucas County


James “Jim” Cooper Jr., was born on February 5, 1924 in Corning, Iowa. He grew up on a farm outside of Newton and graduated from Newton High School in 1942. He married Aletha Jean Goltry on May 28, 1949 and they had one son together.

After high school he worked for the Newton Coal Company before enlisting in the U.S. Navy where he spent 22 months in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Discharged from the Navy he returned to Russell, Iowa and worked for the Veteran’s Association until 1952 and then began life as a career farmer.

He was a member of the American Legion and in 1964 was elected to District Commander of the 5th District. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, ZA-GA-ZIG Shrine, Iowa Order of the Odd Fellows, Lions Club, Farm Bureau, Lucas County Pioneer Cemetery Commission and Russell Faith United Methodist Church. He and his wife were avid campers and enjoyed the good times they had spending winters in Arizona.

Elected to the Lucas County Soil District Commissioner in 1958 he served five terms for a total of 30 years. During this time he worked to procure a meal site and transportation for Lucas County senior citizens as well as paving the road from Russell to the Wayne County line. Jim was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1968 and served for 14 years before serving as a Representative.

Jim was a Democrat from Lucas County. He was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in the fall of 1982, serving for three terms. During his time, he served on the following committees: Agriculture, Local Government, Natural Resources and Transportation.

Representative Cooper passed away on December 20, 2013 at the age of 89.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EIGHTY-SEVENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF IOWA, That in the passing of the Honorable James “Jim” Cooper, Jr., the State has lost an honored citizen and a faithful and useful public servant, and the House by this Resolution would express its appreciation of his service.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be spread upon the Journal of the House, and that the Chief Clerk be directed to forward an enrolled copy to the family of the deceased.