Dr. James L. Cooper Jr.

Obituary
  • "This man was the best doctor I ever had. He helped me learn..."
    - cynthia
  • "Thank you Dr. Cooper for the insight you gave me over the..."
    - Jamie, Geramie, and Jordan Ervin
  • "I had the good fortune of having Dr. Cooper as part of my..."
    - Paula Whealen
  • "For 20+ years, Dr. Cooper was a part of my life, and..."
    - Christine Fore-Pemstein
  • "James was a generous spirit who always offered positive..."

James passed away in his home on Tuesday, October 9th at the age of 68. He is survived by his beloved wife, Betty, children Ashley and Cameron, grandchildren Aspen and Hazel, sister Leslie and nephew Sean Riley. He was very devoted to his family. James grew up in Santa Ana, son of James L. Cooper, Sr. (journalist and television producer) and Eleanor Cooper. He was a graduate of Santa Ana High School and U.C. Irvine. James was an adventurer and in the early 70's he took off across the country, hopping trains and hitchhiking, taking short jobs when he needed them such as driving corn harvesters in the mid-west, selling pretzels in Boston and driving a cab in New York City. He continued his travels into Europe, eventually returning to San Francisco to earn his Master's Degree at SF State University. There he met his future wife, Betty, working in the UCSF Medical Photography unit, sharing a darkroom romance and their love of travel, photography and music. James and Betty relocated to Sacramento when James started his doctorate studies at U.C. Davis, Dept. of Psychiatry, where he received his doctorate in 1985. James went into private practice and touched hundreds of lives as a therapist, teacher and mentor. He served on the U.C.D. Dept. of Psychiatry Volunteer Clinical Faculty, where he helped to train psychiatry residents and received the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award in 1991. He had a great affinity for water, swimming competitively in high school and college (All American) and serving as an Orange County beach lifeguard for seven years. James always wanted to spend time writing creatively when he retired. Since his diagnosis of cancer in 2013, he wrote two books of poetry, two books of short stories and one novella. Many of his stories and poems have been published in literary journals. His writing website can be found at: jlcooper.net. In his words: "You'll find me in the morning light. There's something I need to tell you. Mostly, we'll laugh, I promise." A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, November 11th at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael. It will be an open house format so people can come and go between 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., with an open mic available every hour. James can be honored with a charitable donation to one of the following: Carcinoid Cancer Foundation: www.carcinoid.org Sacramento Poetry Center: www.sacramentopoetrycenter.com Effie Yeaw Nature Center: www.effieyeaw.org
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Oct. 21, 2018