James E. "Jim" Cooper, 86, of Benicia passed away after a short illness Wednesday in a local hospital. He was born in El Dorado, OK and lived in San Pablo for several years before finally settling in Benicia in 1973. Jim was a veteran of the United States Army and the Korean War and was a member of the Disabled American Veterans. Jim worked for the U.S. Government for almost 35 years, beginning at Alameda Naval Air Station and later at Concord Naval Weapons Station.Jim and his wife Cynthia also have owned and operated Cooper's Doll House Studio in Benicia since 1979, many of those years in the Tannery building. Jim was a master repairman and builder of doll houses. He was an avid gardener and shared his produce with neighbors. Jim played baseball in the major/minor Cleveland Indians baseball organization and was still under contract when he was drafted into the Army in 1952. He coached baseball for more than 20 years in both San Pablo and Benicia, and played with the Benicia Old Timers. Jim is survived by Cynthia, his wife of 62 years; daughters, Kim Cooper and Amy (Aaron) Hartley; son, James Cooper; grandchildren, Sarah (Mike) Pillion, Amanda (James) Blackwell, Emily Cooper and Maegan, Dylan and Dane Hartley and his great grandchildren, Abigail Pillion and Hailie Blackwell and Asher Blackwell expected this month. He was preceded by his brother, Elda Lee Cooper in 2008.A Celebration of Life including Military Honors will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at Passalacqua Funeral Chapel. Burial will be private. Family prefers donations to Benicia Veterans House Commission, 1150 First Street, Benicia or Benicia Little League c/o Rebuilding Fitzgerald Field, P.O. Box 296, Benicia, CA 94510. Please visit the online tribute at www.passalacquafuneralchapel.com. Arrangements entrusted to Passalacqua Funeral Chapel, 745-3130.
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Published in Times Herald Online from Feb. 10 to Feb. 23, 2019.