Notes for Michael Frank Cooley (1943-2017)

Submitted by michael_95073
Note added Thu Oct 19 12:57:30 2017

Michael (Mike) Frank Cooley of Grants Pass, Oregon, age 74, went to be with his Lord on August 25, 2017 at the home of his son Greg in Oregon City, Oregon. He was born or June 18, 1943 in Portland, Oregon to Homer Alvin and Frances Marie (Newman) Cooley. Twenty-three months later he was joined by his brother Donald. He attended Woodmere and Marcus Whitman Grade Schools and Franklin High School in SE Portland graduating from the later in 1961.

Mike began fishing and hunting with his dad as soon as he was old enough to walk and he knew he wanted to pursue a degree in an outdoor job before he reached high school. In December 1965 he graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. He won two scholastic scholarships while in college and was elected to two national scholastic honoraria’s. Within 3 weeks of graduation he left for active duty with the US Marine Corps. After completing active duty, he returned to Oregon and began his dream job as a Professional Forester with the US Forest Service on the Mt. Hood National Forest. He met his future wife Mary Lou Cagle at his second duty station in Parkdale, Oregon in 1966 where she was already employed as a purchasing agent and receptionist with the Forest Service. They were married September 16, 1967 in Hood River, Oregon and moved together through many assignments around the Pacific Northwest including Parkdale and Steamboat Oregon; Wenatchee, Glacier, North Bend and Seattle, WA, and then back to Oregon in Grants Pass where they decided to plant roots and move no further. There were also short term assignments for Mike to Colorado, Alaska and Washington D.C. Their first son Greg was born in Hood River in 1970 and followed by Bryan in 1972 in Roseburg, Oregon. In 1980, Mary was able to get her RN degree while they were in Wenatchee, WA which made their moves after that much easier.

Mike always said he liked to fish but he loved to hunt. Anyone who ever visited his home and saw all the mounted horns and fish pictures would realize his passion. And he passed it on to his sons who followed him around at the same young age that he followed his dad and soon acquired the same passion. Mary was a supportive participant and shared in their adventures also. Mike was also a passionate photographer and always carried a camera with him on his outdoor adventures. After retirement he served as Leader of the Medford Insulin Pump Club for 10 years, President of the Officer-Cooley family Association made up of descendants of Oregon pioneers who came out to Oregon together by covered wagon in 1845 for 8 years, and two terms as President of the Middle Rogue Steelheaders. He was also a member of the Oregon Hunters Association. The boat ramp at Indian Mary Park on the Rogue is named for Mike in recognition of his skill, leadership and dedication in getting the ramp built.

Mike was reared in the Lutheran church and he and Mary attended Calvary Lutheran Church in Grants Pass, Oregon for over 26 years.

Mike was preceded in death by his mother Frances and father Homer, four uncles and four aunts and two first cousins. He leaves behind his wife of 50 years Mary Lou, brother Don, sons Greg and Bryan and their spouses, two grandsons Camden and Jacob, four nieces one nephew and two first cousins.

Mike has asked his two sons Greg and Bryan to jointly spread his ashes at five special places around Oregon that he particularly loved.

A memorial service will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church on November 4, 2017 at 1 p.m. Pastor David Johnsen will officiate. A luncheon will follow at the church.