John L. Cooper, 76

John Leonard Cooper, 76, of Quincy, MA, passed away at home in the care of his loving wife on June 28, 2024, after giving cancer one hell of a fight. A lifelong resident of Quincy, John was born on March 6, 1948, the second child of Ted and Eunice Cooper, both deceased. He leaves behind an older brother, Ted, and a younger brother, Gary, as well as many nieces and nephews.

John Cooper

Throughout his youth, “Little Johnny Cooper” was a well-known baseball player, excelling in the shortstop position. In high school he continued to excel at baseball and is a member of the Quincy High School Baseball Hall of Fame. He graduated from Quincy Trade School in 1967 and was scouted by both Baltimore and Minnesota shortly after while playing semi-professionally in the Park League…but got scouted by a different team, the United States Army, and he served in Vietnam as part of the 4th Infantry. Unable to have a career in baseball upon his return from serving his country at the age of 21, John put to use the skills learned at Quincy Trade School and became a plumber working for a few different places before eventually landing at Saunders & Associates in Boston, MA. He started out as a plumber with a basement office but worked his way up to Director of Physical Plant, spending a total of 28 years with the company. He left that position and worked closer to home for The Flatley Company in a similar capacity for four years after which he retired.

On September 4, 1971, John married Diane Marie Primavera, also a lifelong Quincy resident, and they were married for 53 years. In June of 1973 they had their daughter, Colleen Marie, who gave John the best son-in-law he could ever hope for, Thomas Anthony Casey, and his first two grandchildren (for which he chose the title of “Papa”), Brianna and Ryan Casey, all of Marshfield, MA. In December of 1975 they had their first son, Craig Leonard, who gave John three more grandsons with his wife Nicole:  Cameron (whose middle name is John after his Papa), Kyle, and Jayden all of Braintree, MA. In October of 1981, they had their second son and John’s namesake, John Leonard Cooper, Jr., who gave Papa two additional granddaughters, Dakota and Lydia, with his first wife, Christine Wheeley-Banagis, all of Weymouth, MA. More recently, John continued the namesake when John Leonard Cooper III was born to he and his wife, Jenna (whom Papa affectionately called “Jen”), all of Whitman, MA.

Baseball never left John’s life as he continued to play softball in various capacities even when his children were growing, including softball games run by the Saunders company in which his children got to cheer him on. He coached for Craig and John’s baseball teams along the way, and even did some umpiring. He was at every sporting event for his sons, whether it was baseball, soccer, hockey, or golf, and never missed Colleen’s dance recitals, gymnastics meets, cheerleading rallies, or pageants. He carried this commitment on with his grandchildren, attending their concerts, games, plays, and other events. Over the years, Papa created many memories and special moments with each of his children and grandchildren but the fondest for them are trips to New Hampshire and Florida. Papa loved spending time with his grandchildren no matter where they were, home or away.

When not with his children or grandchildren making memories in places both near and far, John liked to do the same with Diane. They enjoyed their annual week at their timeshare in Ogunquit, Maine, and during those trips John liked finding a new spot to visit, place to eat, or even just a new road to travel down each year. He also looked forward to the opportunity to go on vacations with Diane with their family and friends, either to visit them or travel with them. One of John’s favorite trips was to Italy, and before that a cruise to Bermuda. On any vacation he took, whether it was with his children or just with Diane, John was known for suddenly pulling out a “secret stash,” money that he had put aside from side jobs, bingo winnings, or other secret sources. He would use that money to treat his family to something extra, whether as a group or for them individually, just to give them one more thing to enjoy during that trip. In more recent years, a place John enjoyed spending time was at Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. He enjoyed being the first to wake, shower, and dress, then having a quiet cup of coffee while enjoying the view.

Somewhere in all of this, John picked up the game of golf…and the golf course became his second home. This was another sport that John could enjoy with his sons, and then Tom also became part of this circle. John became quite the golfer, even achieving the coveted hole in one…four times!  In the last two years, John even got to see Colleen slowly picking up the sport. In addition to being a regular at several golf courses, John was also a member of the Quincy Elks Lodge and enjoyed spending time on and off the course with some of the friends he made there, as well as just days hanging out at the club. 

No matter where John went, near or far, he knew someone or made new friends. Whenever these people crossed paths and realized they both knew John, the response was always the same: “You know Coop?!  He’s such a nice guy.”  He truly was. He was a gentleman to all and always wanted to do and say the right thing. He was humble, kind, and committed to his family and friends. There are many memories had by all, and to say he will sorely be missed by them all is quite the understatement.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visiting hours on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, 4-8 p.m. in the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., Quincy. 

His funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. in Keohane Funeral Home, Quincy.

Services will conclude with interment and military honors in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, at 1:45 PM.

DUE TO CEMETERY FLORAL RESTRICTIONS: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in John’s name to The Jimmy Fund c/o Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 10 Brookline Place West, 6th Floor, Brookline, MA 02445-7226 or by visiting: www.jimmyfund.org.

See www.Keohane.com for online condolences and directions.

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