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Grew up on a farm in Douglas County Theodore Lee Cooley, son of the late William Frederick and Elsie Mable (Doane) Cooley, was born on July 6, 1919, in Dewey, Okla., and departed this life on Jan. 11, 2007, in the St. John’s Hospital, Springfield, following a short illness, at the age of 87.
Lee grew up on a farm in Douglas County in the Drury area and graduated from Mtn. Grove High School in 1941. Between his junior and senior years in high school he joined the CCCs to help his family financially and went back to school to graduate.
He joined the United States Horse Cavalry Division that later became the United States 9th Armored Division. He served his country in the European Theater, Battle of the Bulge, and spearheaded crossing the Rhine River and pushed all the way to Berlin. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 17, 1945.
Lee was united in marriage to Margaret Burge on Sept. 26, 1946, in Ava. They moved to California in 1950 and adopted their three children while living there. They moved to London, Ark., in 1962. There they raised their children on a chicken farm along with raising foster children over the years. They moved back to the Mtn. Grove area in 1982.
In his spare time, Lee enjoyed reading and working out at the YMCA on a regular basis. He had a great sense of humor and loved making those around him laugh. He was also known as a man of his word who was highly respected.
Lee was a loving husband, father, grandfather,
great-grandfather, brother and friend. He enjoyed spending time with his family and visiting with his neighbors and many friends.
At the time of his passing, he was a member of the First Christian Church in Norwood. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 30 in Mtn. Grove.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Lt. William “Bill” Lee Cooley, in 1978; three brothers, Orville Cooley, Landon Cooley, and Frederick Cooley; four sisters, Janice Wade, Hazel Schumann, Ida Cooley and Joan McGinnis.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Margaret Cooley, of their home; one son, Patrick Cooley and his wife, Cindy, of North Little Rock, Ark.; one daughter, Shirley Smith and her husband, Joe, of Mtn. Grove; two sisters, Frances Sutherland and Janie Hicks, both of Mtn. Grove; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m., in the Craig-Hurtt Chapel, Mtn. Grove, with the Rev. John Luther officiating, with full military honors by the American Legion Post 30. Burial was in the New Hope Cemetery, Douglas County, under the direction of the Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home.