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Raymond Cooper

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Raymond McLean Cooper

August 14, 1926 - February 25, 2013


It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Judge Raymond McLean Cooper, on Thursday February 21, 2013 at Kootenay Lake Hospital, Nelson, B.C. Judge Cooper died peacefully in the company of his 5 children.


Ray was predeceased by his parents, William and Hilda; sister Marion (Vigne); brother Ron; and sister Audrey (Green). He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Betty; his five children and their families, Debi Mycroft (Balfour) & son Vernon; Mac & Wife Beth (Vanderhoof) & daughters Kailey and Maraya; Kelly and Husband Bob (Vancouver) & sons Brian, Ian, and Jeremy; Allan and Wife Tomoko (Port Coquitlam) & sons Sean and Daniel; Alison Mayrhofer (Nelson) & daughters Eva and Rose; a large extended family, and many dear friends.


Ray was born August 14, 1926, in Grand Forks, B.C., to William and Hilda Cooper. The Coopers moved to Creston when Ray was 3 years old. He completed Grade 13 at Prince Charles Secondary in 1945, then attended UBC and earned a law degree. Ray returned to Creston and began his law practice in March, before marrying his childhood sweetheart, Betty Skelly, in May of 1951. While in Creston, Ray was active in many clubs and organizations. He believed in service to the community, and belonged to the Lions Club, Rotary, the Creston Hospital Board, the Creston Board of Trade, and many other associations. Interested in politics, Ray acted for several years as President of the East Kootenay Liberal Association. Ray valued his many friends in Creston.


In the summer of 1981, a phone call from then Attorney-General Jean Chretien announced his position as a Judge of the County Court of B.C. in Nelson. Ray left Creston to begin a second career on the bench in the spring of 1982. Judge Cooper initially held court in Nelson with additional itinerant court duties throughout the West Kootenays. In 1990, the County Court was merged with the BC Supreme Court, and his new duties required Ray to divided his court time between Nelson and Vancouver until his retirement in 1996.


Ray and Betty had many happy moments together, whether wintering in Southern California or spending summers on Kootenay Lake with family and friends. Ray enjoyed boating, fishing, as well as hunting when he was younger. A founding member of the Creston Golf Club, Ray later brought his lifelong love of golf to Nelson where he discovered many new friends and golf partners at his favorite destination: the Balfour golf course!

Our grateful thanks to the staff at Kootenay Lake Hospital, Mountain Lakes, and Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. for your professional and compassionate care. As an expression of sympathy, family and friends may make donations in Ray’s memory to The Alzheimer Society of BC West Kootenays, 809 Davies Street, Nelson, BC V1L3T6


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff send our condolences to family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

From: Lois Arnesen
Relation: casual friend

Dear Family of Ray, My husband went through UBC law school with Ray so we have known him a long time. Once when they had moved to Nelson , I met a daughter in Safeway. I admired Ray’s career as a judge. Recently, I saw Ray in the bospital and had a visit, he certainly was lucid. Please accept my sympathy and condolences. Lois Arnesen

From: Michael Kew
Relation: Legal Community

I began practicing Law in the West Kootenay in 1981, about the time that Judge Cooper was appointed to the bench. I did many trials in front of him and I now recognize the immense patience and kindness he showed a young lawyer just learning his trade. Since his retirement I have only bumped in to him a few times but he was always warm and welcoming: a true gentleman. He will be missed. Kind regards and sympathy. – Michael

From: Floyd Low
Relation: Family Aquaintence

Mac / Debby/ Allan / Kelly / Allison

Sorry to hear about your dad. He was always a warmly welcoming person. I’m sure he’ll have fun with Red and Molly

Floyd and Diane
Down Ottawa Way

Relation: X- Neice-in-law

Very sad to hear of Ray’s passing. My condolences go to all of the family , take care, Marj Truscott.

From: Doug and Bernadette McMullin
Relation: I worked with Judge Cooper

Our condolences go out to all of you. I was Judge Coopers’ steno in the Nelson Court House and worked closely with him. He was such a patient man, and always had that mischievous smile that greeted us every day. After his retirement we had many short visits with His Honour and Mrs. Cooper over at the golf course or in the local grocery store. He was such a warm, loving, distinguished person and I will always look back at my “Court House” days with very fond memories. Take care. Doug and Bernadette McMullin

From: Grant Cooper
Relation: Nephew

Cooper family,
My condolences on the passing of Uncle Ray. I regret that I was not able to make it to the funeral. We are grateful to Alan for keeping us advised of Uncle Ray’s condition and the family plans. I will always remember how excited my dad (Ron) got when Ray and the family were coming to visit. Ray was one of his favourite people.

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
March 23, 2013
Beginning at 1:00pm

Chapel of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd
613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L1T2

613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L1T2

Memorial Gifts

Memorial donations will be gratefully accepted to:

Alzheimer Society of BC
West Kootenays
809 Davies Street,
Nelson, BC

Thank You Notice

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621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797

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