Leon Melvin Cooper

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July 24, 1924 - December 1, 2013 Born and raised by his parents Harry and Edith Cooper in the Hollywood area. He graduated from Hollywood High School, then graduated from UCLA and went immediately into active Naval service in World War II as an officer in a destroyer group in the South Pacific theatre. There, his unit participated in the naval battle of Leyte Gulf, and other major actions. At war's end he attended and graduated from Harvard Law School. He returned to start his law practice in Los Angeles, and start his family with his first wife, Wendy (Knopf). He was re-activated for naval service, and served with a destroyer squadron for two years in the Korean conflict, and retired with the rank of Lt. Commander. Active in the California Democratic Party, he served as Southern Chairman during the Robert Kennedy campaign. His law practice developed into a national and international firm. He has been President and CEO for Grupo Deco America Corp., a Mexican service company for the past ten years, in addition to his regular business and family trust practice. He will be well remembered for his intellect and wonderful sense of humor, as well as his optimism and curiosity for the advent of technological discoveries in the twenty-first century. An avid sailor, he and his family spent many happy days at Catalina Island. He was a founding director of the Catalina Island Conservancy, and helped organize the Island support groups. He served as Commodore of the Los Angeles Yacht Club, and as Commodore of the Transpacific Yacht Club. He held memberships in the California Club and the St Francis Yacht Club. He and his wife Shirley traveled extensively, and have enjoyed the company of their overseas friends. He is survived by his loving wife Shirley; four children, daughters, Katherine Arnold (John), Victoria Cooper-Deathridge (John), Wendy Elizabeth Cooper, and son, Christopher Cooper (Christine); five grandchildren, Vickie, Kelsey, Julia, Hayley, and Matthew; sister-in-law Wendy Simons and husband Larry; and nephew Oliver and niece Abby; and many, many wonderful friends. Memorial service to be announced.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 4, 2013
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