A long-time Valley United Auto Worker, who worked at Lordstown as the first vehicle rolled off the assembly line and through the shuttering of the plant, has died.

Longtime UAW 1112 member and president Darwin Cooper died Sunday evening.

Cooper began his work inside the GM Lordstown facility and then became the vice president of UAW 1112 and served under Jim Graham.

He saw the plant go through good times and bad times over the years, and he was vice president of UAW 1112 when the production facility closed in 2019.

In 2020, Cooper became the president of UAW 1112 and began working with Ultium Cells when it was announced a new GM facility was coming to the Valley. By the end of 2022, Cooper helped bring home a nearly unanimous vote to unionize the EV battery-making facility in Lordstown.

Randy Kline was the UAW financial secretary for the last six years with Cooper. Kline said, "Cooper was very dedicated to the union members and truly cared about people."

Cooper was 77 years old.