Dorothy Ellen Cooley, 85, went to be with our Lord on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home in Waterloo, Iowa, surrounded by her children.

Dorothy was born June 10, 1931, in Grundy Center, Iowa, the daughter of John O. and Anna (Arends) Ash.  She made the smartest decision of her life when she married Donald John Cooley on June 15, 1949, in Waterloo, Iowa.

As a young woman, she was quiet and very shy.  Her husband told her she needed to talk to people.  We have often wondered if he regretted that advice.  After she became a mother, she became a force to be reckoned with, especially if someone threatened her children.  She was definitely a Mama Bear protecting her cubs.

Being an Army wife, Dorothy was fortunate to have lived in many different places.  She lived in Iowa, California, Kentucky, Germany, Wisconsin, and Arizona.  She moved back to Iowa following the death of her husband, purchasing the house her parents had lived in.

Dorothy had many jobs including at Apco, Brodhead, Wis., and Wal-Mart, Monroe, Wis.  But her favorite job was being the librarian in Brodhead Junior High School, Brodhead, Wis.  She enjoyed helping and interacting with the students, many of whom she called “her kids.” One of her favorites was Kenny Stewart, who had kept in contact with Dorothy over the years.

Dorothy had a myriad of interests throughout her life.  She enjoyed reading, watching movies, traveling, gambling, and visiting with family and friends.  This woman who started off as a quiet, shy, young lady had friends everywhere she went.  She was very competitive when it came to playing cards.  She was interested in politics.  While living in Brodhead, Wis., she was involved with the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin – Badgerland Council, AFS, the Brodhead Historical Society, and the Order of the Eastern Star.  Dorothy was very proud to be an American and supported various Veteran associations.  She was an avid Green Bay Packer and Wisconsin Badger fan.

Dorothy is survived by her favorite son, Donald Wayne, her favorite oldest daughter, Debora (Frank) Cates, her favorite middle daughter, Donna, all of Jacksonville, Flor., her favorite youngest daughter, Denise Sacker, Fort Wayne, Ind., her favorite grandson, Jonathan Cates, Jacksonville, Flor., and the son of her heart, Larry (Sherri) Sacker, Fort Wayne, Ind.; brother Bill (Wilma) Ash, Grundy Center, Iowa; sisters, Judy (David) Venenga, Belen, NM and Jane (Dennis) Sealman, Grundy Center, Iowa;  special friends, John and Sharon Wagner, Carroll, Iowa; aunts, Hilda White, Marshalltown, Iowa,and Mary Swenson, Lake Mills, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Last but not least, she is survived by seven granddogs, five grandcats, one grandturtle, and one grandrat.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald; three children in infancy; brother John L. Ash; and sister, Marjorie Houtman.

Memorial service will be held at PT Grillers Event Center, 24785 U Avenue (County Highway T55) in Reinbeck, Iowa, on July 6, 2017, at 10:30a.m.  The Event Center is located approximately a mile north of the Oak Leaf Golf Course on County Highway T55.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cedar Valley Hospice Home, 2001 Kimball Avenue, Waterloo, IA  50702.