Ronald Cooper
Ronald Cooper

Obituary of Ronald John Cooper

Ronald John Cooper (65) resident of St. Maries, ID passed away at Benewah Community Hospital on December 23, 2021. He was born to John and Hazel (Slusher) Cooper on June 25, 1956, at Fairchild Air Force Base. Ron’s father served in the military, so he grew up on several Air Force bases internationally. Following high school, Ron enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corp. He served as a Helicopter Crew Chief for 4 years, spending time at Camp Pendleton, Hawaii, and Vietnam. He obtained his diploma while stationed in Hawaii. Following his honorable discharge, he served 2 more years in the Reserves. After his discharge, Ron moved to Worley, ID where he farmed on his family’s farm and other nearby farms. He did marry and have children. On July 7, 1988, Ron and Kristi Woodbury Birmingham joined their lives and their families together. The couple had 2 children together to add to their family. In 1992 the family moved to Bayview, ID and also spent some time in Athol, ID. Over the years he worked as a Ranch Foreman for Karl Schultz Farming, Dave Lampert’s Farm, Maintenance Supervisor for Silverwood, Millwright at Seeds, Inc. in Worley, ID, and Shift Supervisor for Jacklin Seed later Simplot in Post Falls, ID. Medical issues resulted in an early retirement from Simplot, and he and Kristi moved back to St. Maries in 2015 to enjoy retirement together. Ron enjoyed hunting, sitting on his dock fishing enjoying the river, horseback riding, metal detecting, camping, treasure hunting, gardening, hiking in Heyburn State Park claiming to know every step like the back of his hand, accompanying Kristi huckleberry picking as he was the best berry scout finding the best patches, watching the Gonzaga Bulldogs, riding with Kristi in his new side by side, collecting carved wooden ducks and old belt buckles; his favorite collection of over 100 wooden bears. He would tinker on just about anything and had bought a couple of jeeps he was planning to restore. Ron loved his dogs and his family; he was a great son, brother, dad, husband, and friend who might have been a little opinionated at times, but always gave good advice. He enjoyed people watching and didn’t know a stranger. Ron is survived by his wife Kristi at their home in St. Maries; children Steve Birmingham of Coeur d’ Alene, ID, Angelia Cooper of Plummer, ID, Staci Pressey of Sardis, TN, Amy Cooper of Post Falls, ID, Cory Cooper of Balmorhea, TX, and Cody Cooper of St. Maries, ID; his mother Hazel Hickman of Worley, ID; father and mother in-law Bob and Edna Woodbury of St. Maries, ID; siblings Teri (Terry) Rice of Kingman, AZ, Nancy (Bob) Cooper Quinn of Hayden, ID, and Alice Cooper of Spokane, WA; sisters in-law Dianna Blair of St. Maries, ID and Cheryl McDermott of Gold Beach, OR; 11 grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father John Cooper and stepfather Bill Hickman. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 5, 2021, at 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm at Hodge Funeral Home in St. Maries. A Committal Service with military honors presented will be Thursday, January 6, 2021, at 10:00 am at Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Maries. A Memorial Service will follow at 11:00 am at the St. Maries Assembly of God Church. A gathering of family and friends will take place after services at the fellowship hall of the church.
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