Curtis Cooley (1943-2021)

FAYETTE, OH – Curtis Dee Cooley, 78, went to be with the Lord on September 9, 2021, at St. Luke’s Hospital with family by his side. He was born April 23, 1943, to Kenneth Earl and Vera Marie (Schaffner) Cooley.

A 1961 graduate and valedictorian of Gorham-Fayette High School, Curt served as class president and enjoyed playing flute in the band.

Known as Diesel, Curt’s sharp elbows and dominance in the paint were well-known by his opponents on the basketball courts in Fulton County. His love of animals and the land were instilled at an early age through FFA and 4-H.

He married Nancy Powers, his high school sweetheart, on August 23, 1964, at the Fayette Methodist Church.

Curt graduated from Ohio State University in 1965 with a degree in animal science and then completed his Master’s in Education at the University of Toledo.

Curt and his wife continued their family farming traditions as grain and livestock farmers for their 57 years of marriage.

Three generations of Wauseon High School students benefitted from his 40-year teaching career. His passion for biology and human anatomy and physiology inspired hundreds of students and health professionals across the US.

Active in his community, Curt volunteered as the church financial secretary for over 30 years, participated as a member of the Fulton County Farm Bureau, and served on the advisory board of the local Fayette bank.

Curt loved to travel the country with his young family in their Pace Arrow motorhome. In later years, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends at Devil’s Lake and on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Mackinac Island was a treasured destination where he celebrated his honeymoon and many special occasions with his children and grandchildren.

As a former Eagle, Buckeye, and Indian, the last 20 years saw Curt convert to a Bluestreak fan as he devoted his energies in supporting his grandchildren’s sports and extracurricular activities.

Surviving in addition to his wife, Nancy, are their three children Cristin (Mark) Hagans of Archbold, OH, Caryn (Jeff) Theobald of Archbold, OH, and Brad Cooley of Norwalk, OH; a brother, Richard Cooley of Stryker, OH; a sister, Kaylene (Drew) Ashbridge of Phoenix, AZ. Grandchildren who will forever cherish memories with their grandpa are Connor, Ethan, and Carsyn Hagans and Trey and Elizabeth Theobald.

The family will receive friends for visitation on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the Family Life Center in Fayette from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. A funeral service for Curt will be held on Sunday, September 19, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. at the Fayette United Methodist Church with Pastor Jeff Bandy officiating.


9 Comments on "Curtis Cooley (1943-2021)"

  1. I am so sorry to hear of Curt’s passing. I know his family and past students along with the community will miss this fine man. Prayers for you, Nancy and the kids. He was truly a man of God like his Father. God bless

    • I was a former student at Wauseon and Mr. Cooley was one of my favorite teachers. He always encouraged me to work hard and never was tired of helping me to understand when I got stuck on a hard question. I will never forget his kindness and his heart for his love of teaching ❤.

  2. Condolences to this family, as I grew up with their children and were also neighbors…thoughts and prayers

  3. Our condolences to the Cooley family. Curt was a well respected man who touched many lives. Thinking of all of you at this difficult time.

  4. Emily (Borton) Ruben | September 10, 2021 at 10:27 pm | Reply

    Sending my condolences to the Cooley family. What an irreplaceable loss. I was fortunate enough to be one of his many students in HS. He paved the way for me to become the nurse that I been for the past 20yrs. He truly embodied what it means to be a mentor. Many lives were changed by him. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  5. Becky (Mentzer) Riethmeier | September 11, 2021 at 12:02 pm | Reply

    This man was my inspiration in studying biology and going on to become a science teacher. I think about him him often and only hope I can influence my students as positively and profoundly as he did me. Rest In Peace, Mr. Cooley.

  6. Mr. Cooley was one of a kind and had such a positive impact on so many of his students. All of us learned so much from him. It’s a tremendous loss and my heart is broken for his family. Sending my condolences and prayers.

  7. Chrystel Blosser Wells | September 11, 2021 at 11:00 pm | Reply

    When I was in high school, I wanted to be just like Mr. Cooley! He was the smartest person I had ever met,and I always wondered why he hadn’t chosen a more “important” career than teaching. I am forever grateful that he chose to teach and I sincerely hope that I have managed to be even a fraction of the teacher he was. Please know that his passion for teaching and his legacy lives on in the generations of science teachers and science professionals he taught and inspired. Sending love and prayers to Mrs. Cooley and the family.

  8. Ruth Ann and Jerry Baeyen | September 12, 2021 at 7:47 am | Reply

    Hugs and prayers to cousin Nancy and family.

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