In loving memory of George Cooper Sr. (1952-1994), always in our hearts

Jasmine Valentine
George Cooper in Young Sheldon

George Cooper Sr., father of Georgie, Sheldon, and Missy, husband of Mary, died of a heart attack while coaching at Medford High School. 

True to his parenting style, George’s death put his family first, never taking the spotlight away from the ones who need it the most: his children. A pillar of the community — or a pillock of the community, as his mother-in-law Connie Tucker might have joked — George was beloved by all who met him, even if he wasn’t particularly fond of them in return. 

Since his youngest son, Sheldon, was 10 years old, George has been a man who has continued to surprise us. Friends, family, and neighbors wouldn’t be hard-pressed to find him (or at least an imprint of him) in the armchair by the TV, remote in one hand and a beer in the other. Yet as time has passed, George hasn’t just watched his kids’ lives pass by; he’s tried to understand them.

This was the guy who didn’t understand the word “hypotenuse” but was willing to drive his brainiac child across the country to stick it to NASA. This was the guy who didn’t know how to be a “girl dad” but dressed up in a tux to take his little girl out to dinner at Red Lobster.

George Cooper Sr. put the work in when it counted and nowhere is that more apparent than his relationship with his children. As well as learning about his twins, Missy and Sheldon, George battled it out with his own junior, Georgie. 

Arguments were rife, from buying cable TV to Georgie living in a van infested with rats. But like the football coach he was at heart, George knew to push through the bad times to get to a touchdown. Now, he leaves behind a young man not afraid to dote on his own daughter — and God, does he have a bright future ahead.

George talks to georgie in Young Sheldon

George’s dedication to his work, school, and sport in general could have meant his marriage to Mary went by the wayside… and oftentimes, it nearly did. In a typically good cop, bad cop routine, George’s chilled-out style butted heads with Mary’s stern and strict Baptist teachings, but like any marriage destined for a lifetime, the two always knew the right thing to say in the end.

Balancing each other and putting in the work didn’t just earn George a long-lasting and successful marriage, but it built the backbone of his relationship with mother-in-law Connie. The two knew how to roll with the punches, making jibes at each other whenever possible. But when that’s all stripped away, what was left was trust — trust that George would do right by Connie’s daughter, and he always did. 

In the week before his death, George was a man finally winning in life. A career-first job offer on the horizon, a marriage rekindled and oozing with love, and three children who each seemed fulfilled in a different way. Any family man couldn’t have asked for more.

Perhaps this is a comfort to those George Cooper Sr. leaves behind, even if we aren’t just mourning a loss of life but a loss of future. The Cooper family, Medford, and the state of Texas have lost a one-of-a-kind soul, and he will be eternally missed.

While you wait for the next episode, you can catch up with our other Sheldon content, like our Season 7 theories, filming locations, how to watch Season 7 outside the US, and how to watch Young Sheldon on streaming.

You can also check out all the best new TV shows coming out this month.

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