May 25, 2006
Junior High (1972-1991) Donald A. Cooley (82)
Humboldt Beacon, Eureka, CA June 7, 2006
April 20, 1924 -- May 25, 2006 Donald A. Cooley passed away May 25, 2006, at 82 years of age. He was born in Oakland to Walter and Sarah Cooley. He graduated from Berkeley High School in 1942.
He served in both World War II and the Korean War with the U.S Navy, flying military transports from the mainland to Hawaii and Japan. Don was very proud of his 20-year military record and enjoyed sharing many memories with his family and friends.
Don graduated from the University of California and San Jose State College with a master's degree in industrial arts. He taught at Santa Rosa High School, Pacific Grove High School, and Fullerton Junior College before moving to Fortuna in 1967. He taught aviation and meteorology at College of the Redwoods from 1967 until 1979. During this time Don also designed several Humboldt County homes.
For many years he flew with the fire patrol out of the Rohnerville Airport.
After retiring, Don spent much of his time traveling. He traveled to Europe, Australia, Central America, Thailand, Bali, and Hawaii. He enjoyed his vacation home in Puerticitos, Baja Mexico, for many years. For a few summers he worked as a bush pilot in Alaska. Don loved the great outdoors; backpacking in the Trinity Mountains, fishing at Hobo Gulch, abalone diving in Shelter Cove or Fort Bragg, and bicycling through Europe.
Don is survived by his five children and their spouses, Don Cooley Jr. of Vacaville, Patrick and Anita Cooley of Livermore, Walt and Leslie Cooley of Modesto, Colleen and Joe Sagaser of Fortuna, and Karen Cooley of Mesa, Ariz. He is survived by 12 grandchildren, Jennifer, Monica, and Michael Cooley of Vacaville, Joshua and Jeff Cooley of Livermore, Sarah and Melissa Cooley of Modesto, Jacob Sagaser of Fresno, Daniel and Matthew Sagaser of Fortuna, Joshua Oller of Mesa Arizona and Jessica Oller of Lakeside, Ariz. He is survived by two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Irene Rudisill of Chico. Don had many wonderful friends, including his caregiver Pam Buckley.
A memorial service will be held June 24 in the Rockefeller Redwood Forest at 2 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to Calvin Crest Conferences, 45800 Calvin Crest Road, Oakhurst, CA 93644-9614; or to a charity of the donor's choice.
Class of 1966. All rights reserved.