James Robert “Bob” Cooper, 86, beloved and devoted father, grandfather and friend, passed away July 19, 2018 at Woodhaven Assisted Living in Conroe, Texas.

Bob was born January 8, 1932 to Big Bend pioneers W.A. and Erna Cooper in Marathon, Texas. He graduated from Marfa High School in 1949, worked in Big Bend National Park, served four years in the US Air Force, and graduated with a B.B.A. from Sul Ross State University in 1958.

He then moved his family to Houston, Texas and began his accounting career with Phillips, Sheffield, Hopson, Lewis & Luther (later Haskins & Sells) becoming a principal in 1968. From 1971 he worked as Controller and Sec/ Treasurer for Weingarten Realty, Inc. and in 1981 became a partner with Turner, Cooper, Cloud & Dennis. He continued practicing privately until 2016.

A Lifetime Member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for 56 years, he was also a member of the Houston West Business Club.

Bob was an ardent nature lover, patron of the arts and sciences, fan of Houston sporting teams, and enjoyed telling stories of his younger ‘cowboy days.’

He married June Koch of Alpine in 1953, and he is survived by their four children and their spouses: Tim and Debbie Cooper of Austin; Lori and Warren Smith of Canberra, Australia; Brian and Cindy Cooper of Montgomery; and Lindy and Lloyd Healy of Sunrise Beach, Missouri.

He adored his 10 grandchildren: Peter, Chris and Ben Cooper; Austin and Alistair Smith; David and Steven Cooper; and Joe, Matthew and Amanda Healy. He loved it when they, and those he treated as family, referred to him simply as “GrandBob.”

His passion for Big Bend National Park, and the surrounding area, remained strong throughout his life. The family will hold a private memorial service there in the future. Donations in his memory may be made to the Big Bend Conservancy at

The Big Bend Sentinel

PO Box P
Marfa, TX 79843