Thomas J. Cooper of Lewes passed away on Friday, July 14, 2023 at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes. He was born on August 8, 1945, in Towson, Md. son of the late William and K. Louise Cooper.

Mr. Cooper grew up in Seaford, where he was active in organized sports and was an avid fisherman, golfer, and outdoorsman. In later years, he was an active champion for animal rights and pet rescue, and spent happy hours working on his Koi pond, fish, frogs, and wild bird gardening.

Mr. Cooper was active in Republican politics, including serving as a full delegate to the Republican Convention, personally meeting and dining with four presidents. He was well known, sometimes quietly, as a “King Maker or King Breaker.”

Mr. Cooper established his company, Cooper Realty Associates, Inc. in 1984, with offices in Seaford, Salisbury, Millsboro, Georgetown, and Laurel. Over the years, in addition to being a real estate broker, he served as Chairman of the State of Delaware Real Estate Commission, Chairman of the Board of the Beebe Medical Foundation and the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce (the only one ever from Sussex County). Mr. Cooper was also Commissioner of the Delaware River and Bay Authority (having been unanimously confirmed by the Senate) and the Chairman of the Nanticoke Chapter of Ducks unlimited.  He was a full Brother and Officer of the National Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Mr. Cooper is survived by his longtime, valued and loved companion, Gloria Merryman; his brother, Tim Cooper;  his beloved pets: Karma, Lucky, and TC;  and a wide circle of close and trusted friends.

A celebration of his life will be held in the fall. 

Arrangements have been entrusted to Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium in Lewes.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Beebe Medical Foundation, 902 Savannah Road, Lewes, DE 19958.

Please visit Mr. Cooper’s Life Memorial Webpage and sign his virtual guestbook at