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William Cooper

February 12, 1930 - November 13, 2021

William Cooper William Cooper
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William Cooper, 91 died on November 13, 2021 after a brief illness at River Glen of St Charles.

The son of William H Cooper and Emma (Ebersole) Cooper, William was born on February 12, 1930, in Libertyville, Illinois.  He grew up in Pekin Illinois where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Jerry Lou (Beach) Cooper.

He was a graduate of Western Illinois University where he received his Bachler’s of Science Degree in Chemistry in 1951.  He enlisted in the Navy and went to bootcamp on December 1, 1951, then went on to graduate from Officers Candidate School on July 25, 1952. He returned to Pekin to marry Jerry Lou on July 27, 1952.  And shortly after that leave, he attended Navy Diver’s School and shipped out for the Korean War.

He started his long teaching career in Manito, IL in 1953 and then went to the University of Michigan where he earned a Master’s Degree in Physics.  Then in 1954, he and Jerry moved to Geneva, IL where he began his 34 year tenure at Geneva High School. He taught math, general science, and earth science in the early years, and spent most of his later years teaching Chemistry and Physics.  He was also the Science Department Head for many years.  He was well like by his students and was known for his many exciting science demonstrations that were enjoyed by all.  He retired in 1988.

Survivors include his son Timothy Cooper of Batavia, IL, and daughter Kimberly (Cooper) Cole and her husband, Dan Cole of Clermont Florida, and his grandson, Jackson Cole of Limerick, Maine.

He was predeceased by Jerry Lou his wife of 63 years, who died October, 2015.  A private family memorial is planned.  Donations in William’s name can be made to Anderson Animal Shelter 1000 S La Fox Street South Elgin, IL 60177 –  847-697-2880.


Gib and Kathy Thostenson from Geneva, IL

"Bill was a great guy and a great physics teacher. His sense of humor and his excellent command of the subject matter has had a lasting impact on GHS students. Kathy and I send our condolences to Tim and Kim, and to all those who knew Bill as a colleague and friend."

Ramona Anderson Oshood from Elmhurst , IL

"One of the best teachers ever!"

Linda Lemar from Laurel , MD

"My late husband, Ray Lemar, had the wonderful experience of taking his first physics class from Bill Cooper. Ray loved the course and went on to the University of Illinois, where he received a PhD in physics. Ray had the greatest respect for Bill Cooper's teaching abilities and was delighted to see Bill again at his GHS 40th reunion. Bill was an inspiration to many Geneva students."

Trig Haroldson from Geneva , IL

"Sorry for your loss. His class was one of the highlights of high school for me. Wish we would have more teachers like him."

Jennifer (Vondrak) Calhoun from Batavia , IL

"Bill was a wonderful teacher who challenged his students in a way that prepared us for college and beyond. He was one of my favorite teachers. He was loved and will be missed by many."

Tim Even from Chicago, IL

"My first memory of Mr. Cooper was when he had us 5th graders looking into the effect that detergents had on the surface tension of water. Later he used to slip me surplus HS lab equipment through my mom.A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. -- Henry Adams"

Gerald Plotkin from Asheville, NC

"Bill will be remembered as a great teacher and a friendly mentor to young staff at GCHS. It was a pleasure to have known Bill throughout my years at Geneva. Our condolences to Kim and Tim and Bill's family."

Bob Springer from Kent, OH

"Your Dad was a wonderful teacher. I happened to be back in the Valley last month to help my Mom, 94, recover from surgery. When I drove down Logan past the high school, I looked over to where the teachers' parking lot used to be, and threw a warm memory to your Dad and his legendary motorcycle. He was as cool a Dude as could be in 1968."

David Schultz from Spruce Pine, NC

"Geneva was blessed to have some amazing educators. Frankly? Mr Cooper was certainly one of the best. He was also a spectacular human being, and I am very glad that I had the privilege to be his student. He must have positively impacted thousands of people's lives. That is a life well lived!"

from ,

"What a great life. I’m happy that I had e chance to tell him that he was integral in my mid-life career change to become a high school physics teacher. Quite simply, I tried to be like him."

Tom Spriet from Saint Charles, IL

"Tim and Kim, we are very sorry for the loss of your dad. His visits to the shop were always a good break in our day. He had a good long life and touched a lot of folks along the way…"

Jeffrey Meisner class Of 71 from Saint Charles, IL

"Me. Cooper had a great influenceon me. I had him for two years. As Freshman in physics and as a Senior in advanced Physics. He taught everyone to follow the science. I have thought of him often in my 41 years of working at Fermi Lab. I've had the pleasure of meeting Tim several times at the glass shop to express how much his Dad did for me and how he affected my life. R/S, Jeff Meisner"

Dennis Renner from DeKalb, IL

"Mr. Cooper was a great teacher, father, and friend. I was blessed to be able to have him as a teacher as well as my mother did when she was at GHS. Lynn and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and especially our classmate Kim. RIP Mr. C, you will be missed."

Dale J Seidel from St. Charles, IL

"Bill was respected by everyone he worked with, worked for, and students that had the fortune to have him for an instructor. He was a treasured friend."

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