Published in The Washington Post on April 24, 2011
Lt. Col. RICHMOND J. COOPER Army
Officer / Stockbroker
Lt. Col. Richmond J. Cooper (Ret.), a long-time resident of
Alexandria, died April 15, 2011 at his home with his family at
his side. He was 84 years old.
Lt. Col. Cooper was born in the Philippines on January 2,
1927 to Lt. Col. Avery John Cooper and Ona (Gibson) Cooper. The youngest of seven
children, Lt. Col. Cooper graduated from Western High School in Washington, D.C.,
in 1943 at the age of 16.
After one year of military prep school, he followed in the footsteps of his three older
brothers and attended the United States Military Academy at West Point where he
graduated in 1948. Fluent in five languages, including English, Spanish, French, German
and Russian, Lt. Col. Cooper specialized in the translation of documents and trained to
be one of the principle interpreters for President Dwight D. Eisenhower's scheduled trip
to the Soviet Union that was later cancelled after the infamous "U-2" incident in 1960. Lt.
Col. Cooper also served for several years as a White House social aide during the
Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations. It was during his time with the Kennedy
Administration where Lt. Col. Cooper met his loving wife of 49 years, Janet Felton. They
were married in 1962. Lt. Col. Cooper retired from the military after 20 years of service in
Following his military service, Lt. Col. Cooper worked 37 years as an investment broker
for the Washington, DC firm of Folger, Nolan, Fleming, Douglas where he rose to the
position of vice-president. He retired from his position at Folger, Nolan, Fleming,
Douglas in 2005 at the age of 78.
He lived out the rest of his years at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. Lt. Col. Cooper is
survived by his wife Janet, his children, Joshua, Hope and Phineas and his grandchildren
Eryn and Janet.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 228 S. Pitt St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314, on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, at 2 p.m. with reception to follow.
Services at Arlington National Cemetery are yet to be determined.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund
For more information, please visit www.demainefuneralhomes.com