Western Slope Obituaries 7-13-09 | TheFencePost.com
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Western Slope Obituaries 7-13-09

James Fenmore (Jim) Cooper, 84, of Montrose, Colo., passed away June 13, 2009 at his home from cancer.

He was born OcTbsp. 11, 1924 to Frank Levi and Dora (McKelvey) Cooper, in the Coal Creek area of Montrose, Colo. Jim spent his childhood in Coal Creek on the family ranch, working alongside his siblings after his father passed away when Jim was only seven years old. Jim attended school at Coal Creek, walking the mile back and forth to school from the time he was in the first grade. He graduated in 1942 from Montrose High School and though he had a scholarship to the school of mines due to his innate mathematical ability, Jim went instead to the Philippines and Japan as a draftee with the United States Army during WWII. When he returned, he and Alta Mae Garrison married in Aztec, N.M., on Dec. 16, 1947.

Jim had learned to play the guitar with his nine brothers growing up and continued playing at the Wagon Wheel for 15 years and later for Andy Rassmussen who owned the Arcade Ballroom on West Main, while his bride sold the tickets to get in. He also played on the radio in Delta, Colo. Jim later opened the arcade for Hank Thompson and Little Jimmy Dickens when they came through town on tour.



Throughout his life Jim trained horses and was a member of the USTRC. Jim and Alta had a roping arena at home and they went to all the local rodeos. In the early 1950’s Jim and Alta lived on Baldy’s taking care of the sheep when the boys were little. In the 60s and 80s they moved to Rico in the summertime to care for the sheep. He also did a lot of relay racing in Rico, Dolores and Mancos. In 1990 Jim and his son Gary went to the Senior Pro Rodeo Finals in Reno, Nev.

Throughtout his life, Jim’s love for playing guitar and singing continued. He could be counted on to play for senior citizens at local resident homes, mule races and funerals of friends who loved his old country style. Jim will be remembered for his smile, due to his good nature and friendly, outgoing personality.



He is survived by his wife, Alta Mae Cooper, his son, Gary (Jackie) Cooper of Montrose, Colo., his daughter Sandy (Keith) Boyd of Buena Vista, Colo., his brothers, Wilbur (Peggy) Cooper of Olathe, Colo., and Charlie Cooper of Thornton, Colo., his grandchildren, Lezley (Patrick) Blood of Houston, Texas, Levi (Denise) Cooper of Montrose, Colo., Candi (Tony) Amaya of Montrose, Colo., Jeff (Liz) Cooper of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jason Rodman of Denver, Colo., and Ashley McGowan of Alamosa, Colo., and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first born son, Jimmy Cooper, five brothers, Pearl, Theodore, Lee, Forest and Melvin Cooper, and three sisters, Mary, Jewel and Dola.

Services were held June 17, 2009 at the Grace Community Church in Montrose, Colo.

Internment was in the Valley Lawn Cemetery in Montrose, Colo.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado.

James Fenmore (Jim) Cooper, 84, of Montrose, Colo., passed away June 13, 2009 at his home from cancer.

He was born OcTbsp. 11, 1924 to Frank Levi and Dora (McKelvey) Cooper, in the Coal Creek area of Montrose, Colo. Jim spent his childhood in Coal Creek on the family ranch, working alongside his siblings after his father passed away when Jim was only seven years old. Jim attended school at Coal Creek, walking the mile back and forth to school from the time he was in the first grade. He graduated in 1942 from Montrose High School and though he had a scholarship to the school of mines due to his innate mathematical ability, Jim went instead to the Philippines and Japan as a draftee with the United States Army during WWII. When he returned, he and Alta Mae Garrison married in Aztec, N.M., on Dec. 16, 1947.

Jim had learned to play the guitar with his nine brothers growing up and continued playing at the Wagon Wheel for 15 years and later for Andy Rassmussen who owned the Arcade Ballroom on West Main, while his bride sold the tickets to get in. He also played on the radio in Delta, Colo. Jim later opened the arcade for Hank Thompson and Little Jimmy Dickens when they came through town on tour.

Throughout his life Jim trained horses and was a member of the USTRC. Jim and Alta had a roping arena at home and they went to all the local rodeos. In the early 1950’s Jim and Alta lived on Baldy’s taking care of the sheep when the boys were little. In the 60s and 80s they moved to Rico in the summertime to care for the sheep. He also did a lot of relay racing in Rico, Dolores and Mancos. In 1990 Jim and his son Gary went to the Senior Pro Rodeo Finals in Reno, Nev.

Throughtout his life, Jim’s love for playing guitar and singing continued. He could be counted on to play for senior citizens at local resident homes, mule races and funerals of friends who loved his old country style. Jim will be remembered for his smile, due to his good nature and friendly, outgoing personality.

He is survived by his wife, Alta Mae Cooper, his son, Gary (Jackie) Cooper of Montrose, Colo., his daughter Sandy (Keith) Boyd of Buena Vista, Colo., his brothers, Wilbur (Peggy) Cooper of Olathe, Colo., and Charlie Cooper of Thornton, Colo., his grandchildren, Lezley (Patrick) Blood of Houston, Texas, Levi (Denise) Cooper of Montrose, Colo., Candi (Tony) Amaya of Montrose, Colo., Jeff (Liz) Cooper of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jason Rodman of Denver, Colo., and Ashley McGowan of Alamosa, Colo., and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first born son, Jimmy Cooper, five brothers, Pearl, Theodore, Lee, Forest and Melvin Cooper, and three sisters, Mary, Jewel and Dola.

Services were held June 17, 2009 at the Grace Community Church in Montrose, Colo.

Internment was in the Valley Lawn Cemetery in Montrose, Colo.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado.


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