Joe Cooper, past SDBA Executive Director, passes away

The South Dakota Broadcasters Association remembers and appreciates Joe Cooper’s dedication to the association from 1987 – 1995.

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Joe Cooper

October 8, 1928 – June 22, 2019

Joe Cooper, age 90, passed away on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the Sanford Hospice Foundation Cottage.

Visitation with the family present will be held Wednesday, June 26 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Miller Funeral Home, 507 S. Main Avenue in Sioux Falls.

Funeral services will be 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 27 at Hope Lutheran Church, 1700 South Cliff Avenue, Sioux Falls with burial at Hills of Rest Cemetery, 300 N. Chapel Hill Road, Sioux Falls.

Joe was born October 8, 1928, in Fort Dodge, IA to Fred N. and Helen Cooper. He graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1947 and completed 2 years of Junior College. He began his broadcasting career as an announcer at KVFD-KFMY in Fort Dodge.

On October 31, 1951, he was united in marriage with Dorothy L. Lee.

Joe was employed at radio stations in Iowa and Minnesota before moving to television in 1953. His experience included News, Weather, Sports, and Studio Production. In 1964 he was hired as Production Director as KSOO-TV. In 1968 he joined the staff at KELO-TV and in 1973 co-launched “Good Morning KELO-Land”. He remained in that position for 10 years. Joe was elected Mayor of Sioux Falls in 1983 and was instrumental in re-opening Phillips Avenue to vehicles and revitalizing the downtown area. In 1987 he became Executive Director of the South Dakota Broadcasters Association and served until his retirement in 1995. Because he enjoyed people and didn’t like being idle, he also drove bus part-time for Jack Rabbit Lines, School Bus Inc., and drove the American Legion Post 15 Baseball Team’s bus for 3 years.

Joe and his wife Dorothy spent much of their free time boating with friends in Yankton.

He is survived by his daughters Christy Hopper of Midland, MI, Connie Altman of Sioux Falls, SD, Debra (Curt) Davey, Renner, SD, Jill (Dave) Bockorny, Sioux Falls, SD, Melissa (Brian) Connot, Sioux Falls, SD; his sister Carolyn Mulholland, Fort Dodge, IA; 20 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.