Mary H. Cooley was born December 5, 1937 in Center Union, Texas to Walter and Myrtle Davis. God called her home on Sunday, December 29, 2019. Mary attended the Center Union School system and graduated from Mary A. Brown High School in Smithville, TX. She attended St. Phillips College and received received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Paul Quinn College in Waco, TX. In 1953, Mary participated and received a 2nd place medal in a State Spelling Competition at Prairie View. She also received recognition for spelling in the County and District for three years straight. In the tenth grade, she received an award for being the highest honor student of the class of 1955. Anyone who knew Mary, knew she was very family oriented, loved sports and baking for everyone. Her love for sports allowed her the opportunity to be a basketball, volleyball, cross country and soccer coach. Mary was an educator for over 30 years and taught at Riley Middle School and Lanier High School, where she was a Typing and English teacher. During her tenure, she was selected by a student as a Distinguished Educator in Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 1998 and was selected again in 2004-2005. Mary was a member of Emmanuel AME Church for almost 60 years, where she served as a Trustee, Class Leader, Choir Member, and Choir Secretary with Voices United and the Sisters in Christ. While under the leadership of Rev. Michael Gibson, she coordinated a Baby Contest for the church that raised ten thousand dollars. She also served as the Hospitality Guild President. On March 27, 1983 she was appointed a Steward. Mary was loved by many for her warm, welcoming spirit and of course her baking. Her baked goods, especially her infamous tea cakes would satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. Mary was always more than welcome to share in her joy of cooking and baking with anyone that asked. She lived a life of joy and happiness. She leaves to cherish her memories; her Daughter:Candace Woodard (Carvin); Son: Christopher Cooley; Grandchildren: Chelsea Coleman (Jermaine), Chantel Woodard, Chanel Cooley and Chloe Cooley; Great-Grandchildren: Jeremiah Coleman and Jericho Coleman; Sister: Elaine Asberry and a host of other relatives and friends. She meets at the gates of heaven: her mother and father, Walter and Myrtle Davis; Sister: Annie Ester Davis; Brothers: Arthow, James, Coy, Alvin, Julius, Donnie, and Robert Davis. “Jesus called the children to him and said let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as thee. Truly I tell you anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it"

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  1. Ms Cooley was one of my favorite teachers in middle school. Very sweet and kind person. My fondest memory is when the faculty and students played basketball against each other, she had a great left hand shot. The last time I saw her she ask me if I still played basketball, of course the answer was no. May you rest in heaven. My condolences to the family.

  2. Mrs. Cooley taught me at Riley Middle School and I always remembered the things that she taught me as I got older. She was a beautiful, kind lady.

  3. Grandma you will forever be missed! You were the joy of our family. I will miss your cakes and cookies every holiday. I will miss your phone calls just telling me about your day. You hold a special place in my heart and I love you so much!

  4. WHEN life on earth is past.. Life starts anew in eternity. MAY THIS PROMISE BRING YOU COMFORT. My condolences to the family. Love Always Ms Mary V. Terrell

  5. To The Family of Mary H. Cooley: My prayers are with you and the family. May God comfort you and guide you all in the right direction. Mrs. Cooley taught me at Riley Middle School and she will always be one of my favorite teachers. I learned a lot and she always told me I was one of her favorite students. She made me the typing wiz that I still am today. I just want to say thank you Mrs. Cooley for all you have done for all the Mighty Riley Panthers! And thank God for giving you the talent to share. RIP Mrs. Cooley….From Willard Johnson

  6. My sincere condolences to The family and friends. I was shocked and saddened by my friend’s unexpected death. I met Mary at Lanier high school in the 80’s and we stayed life-long friends. It was always great to see her at the SAARTA meetings and always wonderful eating some of her delicious baked goods. I will miss my sweet and dear friend, but know she is now in Heavenly glory. Much love to the family. Mary Carmen Tovar

  7. I have always held a special place in my heart for my dear sister Cooley who so graciously shared her family daughter and granddaughters with me she will surely be missed for the kind and loving spirit she passed to us ll.Everybirthday she found it not robbery to bake me a homemade german chocolate cake or a delicious zRed Velvet cake .FAMILY KNOW YOUR GRANDMOTHER HAD GREAT LOVE FOR HER FAMILY AND SO VERY PROUD OF ALL YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!

  8. Words can not express how wonderful Mama Cooley was and what she meant to us. As a military family always traveling from place to place, when we were stationed at Ft Sam Houston, Mama Cooley was the first person who took us under her wings and took care of our son Tracie, who was 2 years old when we met her, now 40 years old. She was an angel God sent us and we will miss her and she will always be in our hearts.

  9. I remember Mrs. Cooley coming up to BTW to visit Candace and she would always bring a yummy cake. I believe it was a pound cake if I’m not mistaken. She was so sweet to talk to and so personable. I’m praying for you and your family, Candace. Your dear friend, Susan Johnson

  10. Sending my sincere prayers and condolences to the family of Mrs. Cooley. She was my English teacher at Riley Middle school. She was a very sweet person who took her job very seriously! Her smile was contagious! Rest in sweet peace Mrs. Cooley. Yvonne, Cleo and Royce Molett.

  11. Thanks for sharing🙏🙏🙏. I think Mrs. Cooley taught us all; the Bedfords (Donald, Doris, Dwindolyn, David, Daniel, Darrell, Dorothy, and Damon). She was a great teacher!!!💖❤💝

  12. To the family, I am so sorry for your loss. Mary was one of the sweetest I knew at Emmanuel and I know she will be greatly missed. Sending prayers to her family.

  13. Ms.Cooley was the sweetest, smartest, no nonsense teacher that I had at Riley Jr. High. She was a fan of all students reaching their potential in learning and succeeding. I just found out you gained your wings but rest in peace eternally Well done GOD’S GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT WELL DONE. Cynthia Grant

  14. Candace, I’m saddened to have learned of your mother’s passing. I’m sorry I didn’t know early enough to attend the services. Please know that I have fond memories of her, and my God bless you at this difficult time. Delores Atkins

  15. I am so saddened to hear about Ms Cooley. We are Lavernia neighbors. My mother and I met her one day Koepp getting our cars serviced. We became good neighbors/friends. I just called her house phone and then her cell phone and when I didn’t get an answer I decided to google and then I found out she passed away. I am so saddened by this

  16. Candace, I’m sorry for your loss. Your mother was one of the best teachers that I had the pleasure to know. She was a great person who share her knowledge with anyone eager to learn. She is in “GOD’S HANDS”, and she will never be forgotten!!! GOD Bless You and Your Family!!!

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