TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SORROW OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES UPON THE PASSING OF THE HONORABLE EUGENE COOPER AND TO EXTEND THE DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives were deeply saddened by the passing of the Honorable Eugene Cooper on Monday, September 28, 2020, at the venerable age of seventy-three; and
Whereas, born on April 1, 1947, in the St. Mark Community of Williamsburg County, he was the son of the late Reamer L. Cooper and Flossie Dozier Cooper. Judge Cooper was a 1965 graduate of Carver High School in Lake City before going on to receive an associate's degree from Florence Darlington Technical College where he studied criminal justice. He also completed studies in criminal justice at Greenville Technical College, South Carolina Legal Institution at the College of Charleston, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, and the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada; and
Whereas, Judge Cooper was drafted and served in the United States Army for two years as a member of the 132nd Military Police, and then continued to serve ten years with the National Guard and eight years as part of an Army Reserve unit; and
Whereas, during his career, Judge Cooper was employed as chief of security for La-Z-Boy Chair Company for twenty-one years. He was initially appointed as a magistrate for the Coward District on August 8, 1982, where he served four years. He then became an associate chief judge for the Florence County Magistrate's Office for ten years. Later he was appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court as chief magistrate of Florence County, the first African American chosen for this position. Here he served nineteen years, retiring in June 2015; and
Whereas, he also served his communities in other capacities and was often rewarded for his efforts. Among them, Judge Cooper managed the Olive Grove Sluggers baseball team, was Past Worshipful Master of the Olive Grove Masonic Lodge #339 for twenty-three years, was Crescent Temple #148/ Crescent Court #143 Potentate, was a life member of the South Carolina Magistrates Association, and served on the board of magistrate and municipal judges; and
Whereas, preceded in death by his parents, Reamer L. Cooper and Flossie Dozier Cooper, and three brothers, Samuel (Earl) Wilson, Donald Cooper, and Robert (Willie) Cyrus. Judge Cooper is survived by his loving wife of over fifty years, Jeanette Hennigan Cooper; his twin children, Devarise Cooper and Terrijuna Cooper; his brother, James Cooper; his sister, Verna Wahab; six grandchildren, and a host of other relatives, friends, and colleagues; and
Whereas, the people of South Carolina were made better by the influence of Judge Cooper and will greatly miss his impactful presence. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, express profound sorrow upon the passing of the Honorable Eugene Cooper and extend the deepest sympathy to his family and many friends.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Mrs. Jeanette Hennigan Cooper.