Creating Alaska

George D. Cooper

Name: George D. Cooper

City: Fairbanks

District: 21

Occupation: Businessman and Contractor

Born: December 24, 1923 - Cotopaxi, Colorado

Death: April 17, 2000 - Snohomish, Washington

Burial Location: Camano Lutheran Cemetery - Camano Island, Washington

Alaska Resident: 1949-63, 1970-95

Convention Posts:

  • Member, Committee on Suffrage, Elections and Apportionment
  • Member, Committee on Legislative Branch

Quote from the Constitutional Convention:

"Mr. President, I'd just like to say one thing. If within the next 50 years you don't have a constitutional convention, this plan will at least adopt five reapportionment committees which will meet and advise the governor in the changes that should take place or would be necessary for apportionment of Alaska."

-Delegate George D. Cooper, Day 50 of the Constitutional Convention, addressing the apportionment of seats in the legislature. In the fifty years since the adoption of the state constitution, there have been no constitutional conventions.

Education: Edmonds Washington Public Schools

Public Offices and Organizations:

  • Chairman, Republican Central Committee - 1960-63
  • Fairbanks School Board - 1957-60

Obituary:

George Daniel Cooper

Former Juneau resident George Daniel Cooper died April 17, 2000, from a heart attack in Camano Island, Wash.

He was born Dec. 24, 1923 in Cotopaxi, Colo. Cooper and his wife, Phyllis, moved to Alaska in 1949.

Originally, he was employed with Juneau-Spruce in Fairbanks. Within a few years, he began his concrete business, Northern Redi-Mix and Northern Sand and Gravel. At that time, he was also the Texaco consignee for the territory north of the Brooks Range.

He was a delegate from Fairbanks in the Alaska Constitutional Convention that helped Alaska to become the 49th state. He also served as the chairman of the Alaska State GOP in the early 1960s.

Cooper and his family left Fairbanks in 1963 and moved to Edmonds, Wash., where his company, Dierolite, pursued and patented color corrective lighting. He returned to Alaska in 1970 as the general manager of Concrete Products in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna. In 1974, he worked on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline as project manager at Copper Center for Earth Resources.

The next decade brought Cooper to Juneau where he was manager and CEO of Huna Totem Corporation. He retired in 1995 and moved to Camano Island, Wash.

Cooper was an avid aviation enthusiast. His love of flying took him and his family on many trips throughout The Last Frontier. He was also a violinist.

He is preceded in death by his daughter Kathryn.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Phyllis; daughter Marilou (and husband Terry Klimpel); sons George Jr. (and wife) Debbie; Gregory (and wife Beth) and seven grandchildren all of Camano Island, Wash; sisters Marilyn Rocks, Evelyn Moore and Leona Anderson all of Washington state.

A memorial service was held April 21, 2000 at the Stanwood United Methodist Church, Stanwood, Wash.

Reprinted with permission from the Juneau Empire