Virginia Mae Cooley


(Jan. 22, 1937 - Dec. 1, 2017)

Virginia Mae Cooley was born on Jan. 22, 1937, in Billings, Montana. She passed away quietly, and jumped on the wide, white, smooth highway to heaven with Don, from her longtime Powell home on Dec. 1, 2017, on Lane 11 1/2 under the gentle care of her daughters Cindy and Cheryl, and life-long friend Donna Garrison.

She was surrounded by family and friends and had her faithful dog Daisey on her lap. She was 80 years old and had battled cancer for several years.

Virginia was born in Billings, Montana, to Jim and Doris Farnes. She grew up and attended schools in Deaver and Powell and graduated from Powell High School with the class of 1955. Little did she know at that time, the profound effect that her grade school pal and partner in crime, Alice Wambeke would have on her future and life. She married Don Cooley on July 13, 1956, and settled in Powell where, in addition to raising a family of four, she helped run Cooley’s Auto Salvage, drove beet trucks and was a rural mail carrier for many years.

Virginia was the backbone of the Cooley home and family and was loved by many friends and relatives. She enjoyed camping, boating, traveling, Washington Redskin football and spending time with family and friends. She was a member of the Elks Club, Birthday Club, Big Horn and Basin Boat Club. Virginia was a past President of the Wyoming Rural Mail Carriers Association.

Survivors include two daughters, Cindy Cooley of Powell, Cheryl Newell (Brad) Sterling, Alaska, two sons, Ken Cooley (Kim Perrine) Powell, Dan Cooley (Robin) Cheyenne, a sister Patty Smith (Junior) Arizona, brothers and sisters in-law, Raymond and Alice Cooley, Powell, Ruth Cooley, Powell, Melba Sweet, Powell; nine grandchildren Chris Cooley, Tanner Cooley, Dusty Kluksdahl, Kasey Kluksdahl, Mindy Fach, Mackenzie Newell, Rafer Cooley, Madison Mae Cooley and Dawson Cooley; and nine great-grandchildren, Sloane Cooley, Bodie Cooley, Chase Cooley, Logan Cooley, Natalie Nix, Noah Nix, Marlowe Mae Hernandez, Rolly Fach, Anzley River Newell.

Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, husband Don Cooley, brother Roy Farnes, sister Karen Pile, brothers in-law Bob Cooley, Dick Sweet, Karl Jansson, Stanley Smith; sisters in-law Bonnie Jansson and Phyllis Smith.

Funeral services will be Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. at the Elks Club. Interment to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Reception at the Elks Club to follow. Donations can be sent to the Elks Club in Powell or Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody.