Thomas (Tom) Cooper  grew up in Abilene, Texas as a member of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest.  He graduated from Cooper High School and later received an undergraduate degree from then-named West Texas State University in the Texas panhandle.   He studied for one year at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA before securing regular employment.  While in California, he met and married the love of his life and best friend, Lynne.  After a 40 year career, as a manager with a contract security company and human resources professional in several companies, Tom retired and returned to Texas to be near family.

As a lifetime member of the Episcopal Church, Tom served a number of times on vestries in two different parishes, including as junior and senior warden and has served as a diocesan alternate.  Tom served as a choir member for many years, acolyte master, lay reader, stewardship team leader, seminarian shepherding committee member and member of various ad hoc groups.  In addition, he served on rector search committees twice as well as associate rector and choir director search committees.