Melvin “Mel” H. Cooper

Melvin “Mel” H. Cooper passed away April 3, 2016, in Carson City, NV. Mel was born July 14, 1924, in San Francisco, CA to Clum and Ethelyn Cooper. Although his birth certificate says California, Mel, who grew up in Reno, always considered himself a “Native Nevadan.” He was a 1943 graduate of Reno High School. Mel was a WWII veteran serving as a Motor Machinist Mate, Second Class in the U.S. Navy. He was involved in several of the South Pacific island landings including the Philippine Liberation and was on his ship in Tokyo Bay when the treaty with Japan was signed aboard the USS Missouri. Mel held various positions at Sierra Pacific Power Co. from 1946 until 1979. He retired from the company as a claims supervisor. Mel then moved to Carson City and, with his wife, managed Nevada Steel and Culvert. Mel proudly served as a Lion for forty-nine years and received many accolades. He received the coveted Lion of the Year award on three different occasions; was awarded the Lions Clubs International President’s medal, the second highest award in Lionism; was awarded the Lions Clubs International President’s Leadership medal, the third highest award in Lionism; was awarded the Lions Clubs International President’s Certificate of Appreciation on three occasions; and was awarded the Lions of District 46 - Past District Governor’s Excellence Medal, an award allowed only once in a lifetime. He served as President of two different clubs on three occasions and on many District and Multiple District committees over many years. Lion Mel was loved by each and every person who came in contact with him. He was an outstanding member of Lions Clubs International, and he was a gentleman in the true sense of the word. He will be sorely missed by his fellow club members, and Lion members throughout the States of NV and CA. Mel was also an active member of the Carson City Elks Lodge, and the Masonic Blue Lodge, Washoe 35. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mayme, who passed away in 2002. Mel will be dearly missed by his two daughters, Vyone Kipp (Ron) and Denise Larsen; (Al); his son-in-law, Donn Simons; his brothers, Earl Cooper and Wyman Cooper; his brother-in-law, Jim Shirkey (Pam); his nieces, Linda Cooper-Manzanares (Cathy), Carol Sullivan (Scott) and Heather Palmer (Matt); his grandchildren, Christine McQueary (Rob), Deirdre Rushing (James), Steve Nielsen (Jeanette), Joanne Dietrich (Kenny) and Donn R. Simons (Jeannie); and numerous great grandchildren. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. To sign the online guestbook go to


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