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In Memoriam

Francis Loren “Gus” Cooper (B.A. ’41), a lifetime journalist and civic activist, died Dec. 15, 2007, in Dunedin, Fla. He was 88 years old. He attended the University of Minnesota from 1937 to 1941, and was a reporter/editor for The Minnesota Daily, later becoming managing editor during his senior year. After graduating, he was a reporter for the Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin. Cooper was a World War II and Koren conflict veteran and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for nearly 40 years.

He began his career at New York Life Insurance Co. in 1946, as the first employee in a newly established public relations department. After a two-year stint in the Korean conflict, he returned to New York Life in 1952, working his way up to vice president for public relations and advertising. After his retirement from New York Life in 1979, Cooper served as a management consultant for Media Networks, The New York Times and Standard Rate & Data Services. He was also active on numerous volunteer advisory committees and served as a creator and host for a weekly cable television program on local government and community events in Dunedin.

In 1971 he became president of the international Life Insurance Communicators Association and recipient of its Meritorious Service Award in 1980. In 1996, to recognize his 50 years of service, the organization renamed that award the F. L. Gus Cooper Meritorious Service Award. Other awards included induction into the Cooperative Advertising Hall of Fame (1993) and The Minnesota Daily Hall of Distinction as well as the Hage/Charnley Award of Excellence in Journalism Education (1998).

Cooper was preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years, Shirley Garniss. He is survived by his son Donald R. (Cynthia) Cooper of Chandler, Ariz, and his daughter Lynne (David) Lichtermann of Lakeland, Tenn. Other survivors include 5 granddaughters, their husbands and 13 great-grandchildren. Donations may be made to The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast or the Dunedin Historical Society.

Lola Christiansen Dunn (B.A. ’39) died on June 1, 2007, at Hospitality House assisted-living home in Fergus Falls, Minn., after a stroke. She was 90 years old. Dunn spent more than 30 years working in governmental agencies. In the 1940s, she was a War Department clerk-typist, and later moved into a supervisory position at the Veterans Administration. She also was a writer-editor for the Public Health Service, and in the 1970s she retired from the National Institutes of Health’s nursing division.

In 2001, she returned to her hometown of Fergus Falls from Chevy Chase, Md. While living in the D.C. area, she was a member St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Writers’ League of Washington, D.C., as well as the Woman’s Club of Bethesda. She was married to Leon Dunn from 1965 until his death in 2003. Survivors include a sister.

Hugh H. Harrison (B.A. ’46), a longtime Seattle Times copy editor, passed away on June 29, 2007. Harrison was 87 years old. In the obituary published in the Seattle Times, Harrison was described as an “ace copy editor” and “a master of grammar, syntax, current events and trivia, often down to astonishingly minute detail.”

Born in Napa, Calif., he grew up in California and Minnesota, graduating from the University of Minnesota with a journalism degree. He joined the Army during World War II and served in the South Pacific. For more than 50 years, Harrison worked as a copy editor and
wire-news editor for the Seattle Times.
A devoted union man, he served in various positions with the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild and was instrumental in the establishment of a pension program for newspaper employees of the AFL-CIO.

Harrison is survived by three daughters, two sons, 12 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one brother. Remembrances may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Jay Junod Richter (B.A. ’38), who operated a Washington news service that specialized in political and agricultural coverage, died Sept. 13, 2007, from complications of colon cancer. He was 92. For more than 40 years, he ran Richter News and was dubbed “our man in Washington” by the magazines and newspapers that subscribed to his service. Richter’s beats included Capitol Hill, government agencies, cooperative associations, commodity groups and farm organizations.

A native Minnesotan, Richter was born in Blue Earth and raised in Albert Lea. While a student at the University of Minnesota, he was editor-in-chief of The Minnesota Daily. Upon graduation, he worked as a reporter and features editor at the Minneapolis Star and later the Miami Herald and Rochester (Minn.) Post- Bulletin.

In the early 1940s, he moved to Washington to work for the Agriculture Department and was soon commissioned in the Navy Reserve. During World War II, Richter was stationed in Florida, where he served as editor of a naval air station newspaper. During his time there, he wrote “The Adventures of T. MacTorque,” a feature about a sailor serialized in Navy publications. At the end of the war, he covered Marshall Plan recovery efforts throughout Europe for King Features and agricultural magazines. Upon his return to Washington, he opened his editorial service, and in subsequent years published freelance stories in the Washington Post, New York Times Sunday magazine, Saturday Evening Post and other publications.

In 1999, Richter was awarded Golden Owl status as a member of the National Press Club for more than 50 years. He was inducted into The Minnesota Daily’s Hall of Fame in 2003.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Persis H. Richter. Survivors include his companion, Barbara P. Wickham, of Alexandria, Va.; two children, Mary P. “Polly” Richter of New Orleans and John J. “Jay” Richter of Alexandria; and two grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the SJMC’s Mitchell V. Charnley Professorship fund in Richter’s name.