Gary Cooper passed away Feb. 13 after a three-year battle with cancer. Gary was born at the old hospital in Roundup, Montana on Nov. 2, 1947. He was the firstborn of Carl and Bessie Cooper. During Gary's early life in Roundup he spent a great deal of time with his grandparents Silas and Elsie Manchester. His elementary education began with Gary attending Roundup's Central School. Due to his dad's job, Gary began moving around with his parents to many other towns in Montana including Wolf Point, Conrad, Shelby and Choteau. In 1959 the Cooper family moved to Riverton, Wyoming where Gary graduated from Riverton High School in 1965. Growing up near the Musselshell and the Wind River Gary came to love fishing and the outdoors at an early age. Gary with his best friend for life Dan Ciesielski spent much of their spare time fishing and hunting together. This great friendship began in grade school and continued until Dan passed on several years ago. Throughout their lives Gary and Dan hunted and fished together every chance they could.
Gary married Beverly Thompson a very special lady in 1974, they were married 34 years. With that union Gary gained a new fishing buddy and life-long friend Jerry Richter. Gary and Bev have two daughters Dee Wilson and Amanda Cooper and six grandsons all of St. George Utah. During most of Gary's work life, he served his community as a police officer in Billings and as a deputy in Fremont County, Wyoming. While serving in Fremont County Gary was promoted to Investigator. During his time as a police officer in Billings Gary was awarded the presidential citation during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. This award was given for helping save the life of a fellow officer. He was a dedicated law enforcement officer taking pride in being an honest and fair cop. Gary worked for the Montana Fish and Game Fisheries Division for several years working on many of the streams in South Central Montana. His last job was working for YVEC.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents and his wife Beverly. He is survived by his daughters, six grandsons, siblings James (Judy), Kirk (Linda), Patty, Tom (Diane) and numerous nieces and nephews. Gary especially wanted us to mention his beloved Westie, JoJo, who kept him company and gave him companionship the last years of his life.
A memorial service is planned for a later date.