John Edward Cooperider

John Edward Cooperider, born March 22, 1930, died March 2, 2021, in Bedford, NH. 

After his father’s sudden death when John was 15, a mentor advised him to become a Navy Yeoman post high school. The idea was to enlist for four years, then use his GI benefits to attend college in preparation for a business career. With his entry into the Navy in 1947, John began what developed into a 20-year military stint and a lifetime of travel that put both the limitations and luxuries of small-town life in sharp focus. His college plans never came to pass, but John graduated at the top of his class in Yeoman school and went on to serve directly under several Admirals and Secretaries of the Navy. By the time of his discharge, he had attained the rank of Chief Yeoman, and had been in contact with high-ranking officials from the US and foreign armed forces as well as ambassadors, astronauts, and politicians. He was an eyewitness, in the Pentagon office of Secretary of Defense McNamara, to the unfolding of the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

John gained employment at Sanders Associates, in Nashua, NH, after retirement from the Navy in 1966.  There, he developed policy and procedure systems, and coordinated litigation in an antitrust lawsuit against IBM, involving his oversight of the discovery process for millions of documents. The case was settled out of court. After 11 years at Sanders, John sent his resume to the Manchester law firm that had represented IBM, and he began work in 1978 as Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green’s first Director of Administration.

Legal administration was, at the time, a new field, and John contributed to its development as well as to the growth and structure of SPB&G. He foresaw, in 1980, a time in the near future when there would be a “video display arrangement” on each lawyer’s desk through which they could access client accounts and records, other attorneys’ schedules, and telephone messages. John served as a chapter president and a regional vice president in the Association of Legal Administrators and was inducted as a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management in 2000.

A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined.