Joseph Jude “Jay” Cooper, 59, formerly of Altoona, died unexpectedly after a brief illness on April 8, 2021, at his residence in Bamberg, Germany. He was born in Altoona, the son of William Cooper and Florence (Mercer) Cooper-Bowser.
Jay was a 1979 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School. He entered the United States Army immediately following high school. He was an Avionic Electric Installation Rep and Repairer. He honorably discharged from the Army in 1985, after receiving numerous accolades and awards, including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Oversees Service Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.
Over the following 30 years, he was employed as a civilian business manager for the United States Army, overseeing the day-to-day operations of several recreation centers in Bamberg, Giebeistadt, Wurzburg and Kitzingen, Germany. He received numerous awards during his career, including Commander’s Achievement Medal for Civilian Service and Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.
Jay enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He was an avid bowler and belonged to several dart leagues over his years in Germany. His true passion was cooking, primarily BBQ. He loved hosting friends, family and soldiers for BBQ picnics. He also loved his true companions, his dogs, Scully and Lenox.
Jay is survived by his children: Dania Gunter, Michael (Teresa) Cooper, Rebecca Cooper and Kevin Cooper. He is survived by grandchildren: Dominik, Justin, Robin, Leonie, Jason, Elias and Charlotte; a sister, Teresa (Gerald) Cooper McCaulley; and a brother, Mitchell (Gina) Cooper. He is also survived by numerous cousins and several close friends, including childhood friend, Rhonda Walker; and niece, Melissa McCaulley; and nephew, Matthew McCaulley.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his children’s mother, Gabi Cooper; and brothers, Billy and Dennis Cooper.
A graveside service was held Saturday, April 24, 2021, in Kleinrinderfeld, Germany. A remembrance mass will be held at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona, at the convenience of the family.
Local contact is Jones Funeral Home, Altoona.
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