John Craig Cooper, age 62, returned to his Heavenly Father on November 10, 2012. John was born on January 20, 1950 in Fillmore to John Eldon and Ilene Baker Cooper. A lifelong resident of Fillmore, John left this world in his beloved home surrounded by his proud family. An exceptional athlete—football quarterback, basketball guard, and track star, John graduated from Millard High School in 1968 and then attended Snow College on a basketball scholarship. He served two years in the Southwest Indian mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he learned to speak fluent Navajo and began his lifelong advocacy for the Native American people. Following his mission, John attended BYU before marrying the love of his life, Janet Campbell of Hurricane, and settling down in Fillmore to take over the family restaurant business, which he ran for over twenty years. John was elected Millard County Commissioner for two consecutive terms, serving the community he loved, including leading the charge to save the Snake Valley aquifer from Nevada special interests. For his relentless efforts on behalf of Millard Country, John was named Utah’s Outstanding Elected County Official and Outstanding County Commissioner in 2008. A true cowboy, his passion for horses led him to found the Paintaloosa Horse Association, of which he remains President in absentia. John served his Church in many capacities, touching so many lives with his profound faith and kindness, notably serving as Branch President for the Kanosh Indian Reservation and also of the Fillmore Fifth Branch at Millard Country Correctional Facility.
John is survived by his devoted wife and caregiver, Janet; his five sons: Cole, Rhett, Cade, Clay, Kip; daughters-in-law: Romina, Jennifer, and Amanda; grandchildren: little Johnny, Lyla, and Cruz; and his siblings: Ethel Stevens, Jolene Stephenson, and Cynthia Black. John loved people and believed in the power of redemption. If you knew him, you were one his favorite people. We love you, Johnny.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, November 15, at 11 am, at the Fillmore LDS Stake Center, 21 South 300 West, Fillmore. Viewings will be held at the Fillmore Stake Center on Wednesday evening, 6-8 pm; and Thursday morning, 9:30-10:40 am. Burial will be in the Fillmore Cemetery under the direction of Nickle Mortuary, Delta.