A respected South Australian businessman and philanthropist, Mr Cooper was passionate about the Coopers family business and strongly involved in the community.
Mr Cooper joined Coopers Brewery in 1960, and from 1965 he became responsible for the marketing and sales of Coopers’ products. In this role he oversaw the launch of Coopers’ lager beer in 1968.
He was appointed as Director and Company Secretary of Coopers in 1969.
He became Managing Director in 1977, a position he held until early 2002 when he was succeeded in the role by his son, Dr Tim Cooper, the current Managing Director.
During his time as Managing Director, Bill Cooper oversaw the introduction of Coopers home-brew kits in 1977, as well as the launch of Coopers beer in kegs from 1982. In both innovations, Bill worked closely with former Chairman Mr Maxwell Cooper, who died in November, 2010.
Bill and Maxwell Cooper were also involved with Mr Bill Gill in the establishment of the Adelaide Malting Company in 1986, a profitable venture for Coopers which guaranteed the company’s malt supply.
Mr Bill Cooper injected a strong marketing effort into promoting Coopers’ beers outside of South Australia, to represent 50% of Coopers’ beer production by 1990.
Mr Cooper retired as a Director of Coopers in October 2009 having completed nearly 50 years’ service with the brewery. His position was filled by his daughter, Ms Melanie Cooper, who became the first female Director of the company.
In 1993, Mr Cooper was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community and local government.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jo, by his children Tim, Verity and Melanie and by 10 grandchildren. His younger son Matthew passed away last year.