Jimmy Johnson’s Ex-wife Linda Kay Cooper Was A Teacher

By AustinPublished on: February 26, 2024 Updated on: February 26, 2024
Birthday January 17, 1942
Birthplace Marked Tree, AR
Death October 06, 2003
Age 61 years
Partner Jimmy Johnson
Husband Roger Kent Aronson
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Linda Kay Cooper was popular for being the ex-wife of the former NFL sensation Jimmy Johnson. She remarried after things ended with him. However, her bond with her first husband was so strong that he even mentioned her in his Hall of Fame enshrinement speech.

Let’s learn more about Linda, her personal and professional life, and her relationship with Johnson.

Sadly, Jimmy Johnson’s Ex-wife, Linda Kay Cooper, Is No More

The beautiful Linda was born on January 17, 1942, to Reginald Taft and Martha Virginia Cooper in Marked Tree, AR. A native of Arkansas, she lived her whole life there and was raised alongside her siblings, the late JoAnn Moody and Teddy Neal Cooper.

Unfortunately, her life was cut short, and she passed away on October 6, 2003, at the age of 61. Her online tribute wall is full of people describing her as a kind spirit who left an indelible mark with her kindness and outgoing nature. Despite her absence, she lives through the lives she touched.

Linda Kay Cooper passed away in 2003
Linda forever lives on through the memories of those who knew her.

Linda Was An Educator

Cooper earned her college degree from the University of Arkansas. She had been a dedicated teacher not just in the USA but also in Venezuela. Linda taught fourth-grade students at an American school there, where the children of English-speaking, well-to-do Venezuelans and foreign dignitaries studied.

Besides, she had also been to other countries and taught kids there. At the time of her death, she had already retired and was living with her family in her home in Fayetteville.

Linda Kay Cooper And Her First Husband, Jimmy Johnson, Were College Sweethearts

Cooper met Johnson at the University of Arkansas, where they both studied. Just six months after their meeting, the former lovers tied the knot on July 12, 1963. She was his rock and always supported him through everything.

Meanwhile, 26 years after their wedding, they went their separate ways. They finally ended things in January 1990. The ex-pair had a lot of differences, which caused a strain in their marriage. For the most part, they were two sides of a coin. While Linda liked traveling and socializing, Jimmy preferred staying home and watching football.

Nonetheless, the endgame was Johnson finally getting to coach the Dallas Cowboys. He wanted to focus on football and had no room for both family and career. When asked if it was something he really wanted to do, he recalled the encounter, stating,

It really wasn’t up for discussion. If I hadn’t taken the job, I’d have always wondered if I’d made the right decision

He told the reporters that he did not need the “social prop of a spouse” connected to his career.

Post-divorce, the former NFL star’s wife focused on teaching and went abroad. In 1999, she described her new life as “kind of wonderful.” She did not miss her past life at all.

Was there bitterness? Probably, but Linda was exceptional and did a lot for Jimmy. As a result, he mentioned her in the list of “people that really sacrificed” and described her as a “great great woman” in his Hall of Fame enshrinement speech.

The Former Sweethearts Had Two Children

During their union, they welcomed two wonderful sons, Brent and Chad Johnson. The eldest was born in 1964, while the youngest was in 1967. The elder Johnson graduated from a University of Texas law school and tried his hands at fashion modeling.

As for Chad, he is a stockbroker. He struggled with alcohol and got help from his father to turn his life around. Now, the two seem very close, as Jimmy occasionally posts pictures with Chad and his family. Chad also has a son, Cooper, who is likely named after his late mother.

Jimmy Johnson and his first wife, Linda Kay Cooper, have two sons
Chad and Brent hugging their dad, Jimmy.

Moreover, the juniors had accepted that separation was inevitable given everything between their parents. Linda raised them alone, as Jimmy was always focused on football. This strained the relationship between Johnson and his kids. However, as they grew up, they realized this, and their relationship is better now.

Linda Kay Cooper Remarried In 2000

About a decade after things ended with her first husband, Linda moved on and married Roger Kent Aronson in 2000. They were married for three years until she died in 2003. The specifics of their relationship remain unknown, as Linda mostly stayed away from the spotlight following her divorce.

As for Johnson, he has also found another woman. He exchanged vows with Rhonda Rookmaaker in 1999 and has been married to her since. The hubby and wife do not have any children; however, seem to be enjoying their blissful marriage with Jimmy’s son, Chad.

Linda Kay Cooper's ex husband with their son, Chad and family
Chad appears to be close to his father and his stepmom.

Linda’s Hubby Was A Police Officer

Born on September 7, 1934, Aronson was a native of Minnesota. He was a retired Minneapolis Police Lieutenant and had served for 32 years. Roger started his career as a patrolman in 1962 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a detective in 1970 and a lieutenant in 1974. He also served as Director of Emergency Communication for three years. He ultimately retired in 1990.

Meanwhile, Roger left the world at the age of 87 on  December 14, 2021. He was married to Roberta at the time of his death, and they had a son named Roger Kent Aronson II.

Previously, Linda’s hubby was married to Marlene Baldner Aronson for 35 years.