Spr Alan John Cooper (Ret’d)
We regret to advise of the death of Sapper Alan John Cooper (Ret’d) on 24 July in Salmon Arm BC at age 90. Alan was a Mechanic, Royal Canadian Engineers and a Korean War veteran.
Alan grew up in White Rock BC and left high school during Grade X to work in the woods, logging, on Vancouver Island. He was a member of the Army Cadet Corps in high school and joined the Canadian Armed Forces four days after his 18th birthday in 1949.
After completing his Field Engineer training at the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering, Alan volunteered for the Korean War with the Canadian Army Special Force and joined the newly formed 57th Independent Field Squadron in March 1951. He soon deployed to Korea with the 57th where he served for a year as a Driver Mechanic. After returning to Canada, Alan remained with 57th Independent Field Squadron until 1953 when he was posted to 2 Field Squadron in Chilliwack that was preparing for its rotation to Germany. After a 3-year tour in Germany, Alan returned to Chilliwack with his unit in November 1956 and retired from the Canadian Forces in January 1957. Alan was a very proud member of the Korean Veteran’s Association of Canada, and Richmond Unit #47 while he was living in Tsawwassen BC.
After his release from the Canadian Forces, Alan worked in construction throughout British Columbia that took him to Terrace, then Prince George and, finally, in Tsawwassen in 1971 where the family stayed for 27 years. He made a name for himself in the BC construction industry working for Ben Ghinter Construction in Prince George, Hemlock Valley Construction in North Vancouver, living and working in camp on the construction of Tumbler Ridge in the early 80s, and working as Purchasing Agent for Progressive Contracting in Richmond. He really found his place with Progressive Contracting where he arrived early to the office and his radio was abuzz all day from men in the field needing supplies. Everyone knew they could count on "Al" to get them what they needed. Alan retired from Progressive Contracting in 1998.
In retirement, Alan and his wife followed family to the Cariboo where they lived in Bridge Lake, McLeese Lake and, finally, Forest Grove near 100 Mile House. The snow was deep in the winter, but summers were dry and perfect for him to drive his prized ’78 Camaro. Alan entered long-term care at Fischer Place and Mill Site Lodge in 2020. Unfortunately, the pandemic cut him off from family for many months and the forest fire threat to 100 Mile House forced the evacuation of Alan’s care home to Salmon Arm where he passed.
A family celebration of life will be held at a future date. Online condolences can be sent to the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Trust Fund would be appreciated.