Robert (Bob) Cooley


(Dec. 16, 2000)

Funeral services will be conducted today (Tuesday) at 10:30 a.m. at Union Presbyterian Church in Powell for Robert (Bob) Cooley, 72, who died Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Powell Hospital due to coronary heart disease.

The Rev. David Hunter will officiate at services and burial in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Mr. Cooley was born May 24, 1928, in Watertown, S.D., to Alfred Robert and Effie (Jurgensen) Cooley. In 1936, the family moved to a cabin on Bartlett's Lane west of Cody.

The family moved to Powell in 1937 where the senior Mr. Cooley worked for the late Russell Franklin. In 1940, his father purchased a farm on the North End where Bob grew up and met his wife of 53 years, Ruth Anne Johnstone.

He was educated in the Powell schools and was a member of the class of 1946. At the age of 15, he went to work in the oilfields in Elk Basin.

On Jan. 25, 1947, he and Ruth Anne Johnstone were married in Billings, Mont. During the first years of their marriage, he was employed by Hunter and Sandbak at the Carter service station, known to most as the downtown Exxon station.

After recovering from polio in 1951, he returned to the oilfields and built tanks in Wyoming and Colorado for Union Tank Company. In the years that followed, he operated a cat and scraper for Leta Bentley, leveling farmland in the Powell area. In 1956, Bob and Ruth Cooley purchased the Sinclair service station and operated it until 1959. He then worked for McGary & Kylander and for many years as a roustabout for S&H Construction. He retired after suffering a second heart attack in 1989.

Mr. Cooley was the president of Powell's first stock car club, was inducted into the Powell Men's Bowling Association Hall of Fame and was a member of the Powell Eagles Lodge.

Survivors include his wife Ruth of Powell; one daughter, Janice Bailey and husband Joe of Powell; two sons, John Cooley and Jeff Cooley and wife Leah, both of Powell; two brothers, Ray Cooley and wife Alice and Don Cooley and wife Virginia, both of Powell; a sister, Bonnie Jansson of Powell; and eight grandchildren, Kent Bailey and Nick Bailey and wife Hannah, Andy, Clint, Charlie, Deena, Kami and Kadi Cooley; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; half-sister Phyllis Smith; half-brother Dick Sweet; and infant brother Harold.