John David Cooper, 80 of Heeler Hill, Sabinsville, PA, formerly of Columbus, NJ, passed away unexpectedly at home on September 26. Born on October 27, 1936 in Elkins, WV, he was the son of the late Dr. Shirley and Margaret Graham Cooper. On September 14, 1957, he married the love of his life, Elizabeth Talbott who survives. Together they shared 60 years of marriage.
John was a graduate of Frederick Sasscer High School, Upper Marlboro, MD, class of 1954 and the University of Maryland, class of 1959. He was a pilot in the United States Air Force and a veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1966 he joined Pan American Airways and upon retiring as Captain in 1991, he and Beth moved to their "home on the hill".
John was an accomplished competition motorcyclist, twice winning Canada's National Championship Corduroy Enduro. He was a Charter Life Member of the American Motorcyclist Association, past president of the East Coast Enduro Association and a former member of the South Jersey Enduro Riders motorcycle club.
John was a collector and restorer of classic Corvette automobiles and a member of the Glen Regional Corvette Club. He also restored antique military vehicles and was a former member of the NY-Penn Military Vehicle Collectors Club.
In addition to his wife Beth, John is survived by three sons, David (Debra) of Conway, SC, Steven of Missoula MT and Paul (Susan) of University Park MD; a daughter Suzanne (Mark) Scelza of Jobstown, NJ, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Also surviving is a sister, Shirley Fitz of Blue Ridge Summit, PA. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by brothers Lowell, Robert and Joseph.
John was a dear friend to many, many people and was adored by his family. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a keen intelligence. He will be greatly missed.
Family and friends are invited to call on Monday, October 2 from 11:00 AM to Noon at the Buckheit Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., 637 S. Main St., Mansfield, PA. A memorial service will immediately follow. A military service and interment will be at the National Cemetery at Indiantown Gap, PA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one's choice.