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Simcoe Manor bequeathed $816k from Tottenham man's estate

Posted October 29, 2018

When James Heaton Cooper passed away eight years ago in Tottenham, one of his final wishes was to endow Simcoe Manor with 20 per cent of the estate.

In a letter dated July 18, 2018 addressed to Zarah Walpole, Simcoe County's Legal Director, Jay Feehely, referenced as Mr. Cooper's estate's remaining executor, noted "virtually all matters under his last will and testament have been completed and a distribution of the residue of his estate is now being attended to."

James Heaton Cooper
Oct. 9, 1927 - Oct. 26, 2010

Mr. Feehely reported an estate account was open Dec. 31, 2010, and in his July letter, showed the total for distribution amounted to just over $4 million, of which 20 per cent amounted to $800,365. With interest the donation to Simcoe Manor is $816,035.

A report to Simcoe County councillors on tomorrow's (Oct. 30) meeting agenda, staff is recommending the donation be deposited into the Simcoe Manor reserve fund and utilized to offset costs associated with the redevelopment of Simcoe Manor. It would be applied to the proposed community fundraising program to raise approximately $1.4M.

Below is brief write-up about Mr. Cooper provided via the County's report to council:

Mr. James Heaton Cooper, originally from the New Tecumseth area, returned to live in Tottenham to be near family after retiring from a successful career with Northern Telecom. Though Mr. Cooper lived in Toronto for many years, he had a strong connection to the Tottenham area as his aunt, Adeline Rogers, (Greenhow), his mother's sister, lived in the Tottenham area. Adeline Rogers was married to Clifford Rogers who was responsible for the initial development of Tottenham in the 1960's and 1970's. After resettling to the area, Jim developed a number of contacts in the Tottenham area and often provided assistance by lending mortgage funds to local people in the area who might otherwise not have been able to secure funding through conventional sources.

Mr. Cooper though a quiet person, was very involved with the Rich Hill United Church community, loved to travel, and spend time at his cottage in Northern Ontario where he enjoyed fishing and the outdoors. Over the years, Mr. Cooper was a regular visitor of Simcoe Manor, providing the precious gift of his time to offer companionship and support with many of our long-term care residents.

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All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri