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Herbert Dwayne Cooley

When a Treasured Loved One Becomes a Memory

Those Memories Become Treasures

Dwayne Cooley, 69, completed his journey on earth, Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

Born, January 2, 1955, the first child of Glen Herbert “Pete” and Deloras Cooley, he thought his mom partied too hard New Year’s Eve.

So much can be said about Dwayne. He could do just about anything he set his mind to, and did, not only for himself, but others too, except work on washing machines. He enjoyed helping others, talking and bullsh_ting, (well, he was a Cooley.) Apologies to those that were victimized by his quick wit, but we all loved it or grew to love it. He just had that way about him. He really, just about always, meant well.

Though his good deeds are too numerous to list, his family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers were blessed by him. He is one of the good ones and will forever be loved and missed. He was there for everyone, even when some were not there for him. Nothing was ever too big or too small for him to offer his time, muscle, or his “opinion.”

Dwayne’s work history began at twelve years old, mowing yards, borrowing a mower till he could buy his own. He then worked at Cooley’s Skating Rink, where he mastered skating and went on to teach his three daughters and many others the skill. He would move on to bag and stock boy at Foshee’s Grocery store where he worked when he met his wife, finding a promise ring behind a coke machine, that he would later give to her to keep forever. His senior year of high school, he began working at West Brothers warehouse. He worked there long enough to begin his life of rocking the boat in the workplace. Not being satisfied with the pay, he began getting food stamps and getting others to apply too, ending in a pay raise for everyone. After graduation, the want and need to make a better living led him to join the logging business with his Daddy. Again, starting at the bottom, stacking, trimming, then becoming a professional log cutter, (the best, of course.) But, getting up at three in the morning, allergic to poison ivy, breaking his wrist, cutting a toe, and being attacked by hornets, it was time to move on. As soon as he got the “required” haircut, in 1978, Dwayne began working for the company now known as PCA. He worked in every capacity on the paper machine. He retired after thirty-eight years as an “A” Operator on Paper Machine #3. He was known for his initiative, inventing many very good, “Cooley Rigs,” to make his job easier, he’d say. But, in turn, making his co-worker’s jobs easier, too. Some of these inventions continued to be in use at the mill even after his retirement. Along with his mill job, in his “SPARE TIME,” he raised horses, cows, and pigs, was a good landlord, and sold vegetables, coming in off graveyards, picking many a bushel of corn. People waited every season for his sweet corn, and he loved the visits.

When he was required to retire, after seeing his life work, the agent said,

“So, if he could work, he would.” And that would be YES.

He was Front-End Vice-President Local 725 and Shop Steward at the mill, and passionately fought numerous grievances, his own, (for sure), and his union brothers and sisters as their representative, to the point he was called, “the Lawyer.” One of the many names(he was called) that he was proud of.

“Time to shut it down boys; I’m headed to the house.” Cooley.

From pulling band or horse trailers, flipping burgers, to being the best lifeguard at pool parties, he loved being involved in his girls’ and grands’ lives. Being a part of their lives is what made his life. He’d not had it any other way.

He served as president of the Pony Club and EBHS Band Boosters.

He established the Pete C. Hunting Club, named for his Daddy, and served as president. This was something his Daddy had always wanted, and he was very honored and happy to fulfill this.

Dwayne began dating his wife Vicki(by arranging to skip school with her) when she was thirteen and he was fifteen. They have shared fifty years and eight months of marriage after three years of going steady. Raising each other, getting through the ups and downs, just to be together.

Thank you, Dwayne, for all the adventures, laughs and tears, for the many lessons. You truly taught me so much, but most of all, our love, beautiful daughters, and the family we were blessed with.

Rest now, my love, you have won your battle here on earth. Never stop looking for me, I’ll be in the last place you look. We are one and there will never be another. You will always be my first breath in the morning and my last prayer at night. I know you’ll be waiting, because you always say, “I’ll be right here, Sweet Pea.” And no worries, I’ll hold down the fort, now. See you in a minute, Daddy, Love Always, Vicki.

Those left to forever love and cherish Dwayne are his lifetime sweetheart and wife, Vicki Cooley; daughters, Jessica Watson(Thomas), Amanda Edgerton(Quintavious), Sarah Cooley(Majestic); Ma-Ma, Deloras Cooley; grands, Alex Cooley(Kristen), Alyssa Hargrove(Dakota), Anthoney Barrett, Victoria Watson, Majestic Zavala, Avaya Edgerton; great grands, Gabriel, Jasper, Ayva, Faith, Jaxon, Bentley, paisley; brother, Jason Cooley(Wendy); sister-in-law, Cathy Springstun(Don) and many special nieces, nephews, family and friends.

Family preceding him and meeting him with open arms are his Daddy, Pete Cooley; favorite mother-in-law, O’Neal Horton; great grand, Bentley Cooley; brothers-in-law, Raymond Vander, Mark Garcia; sisters-in-law, Sue Weeks, Linda West, Pat Matherne,  Martha Vander.

Visitation will be held on Friday, June 14, 2024 from 1:00 PM until the time of the memorial service at 1:30 PM at Myers Colonial Funeral Home in DeRidder, LA. Pastor George Lee Glass will officiate the service. A private burial will be held at a later date.

We would like to express appreciation to Dr. Randall Duplechain, Dr. Erin Bardin, Heart of Hospice, and Myers Colonial Funeral Home for your kindness and gentle care of our loved one.

Herbert Dwayne Cooley
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