With deeply felt sadness we announce the peaceful passing of Betty Jeanne Cooley, our family’s matriarch, at home on October 27, 2019. Though she left her aging body behind, her heart and strength remain within us all.
Born on the 4th of July, 1932 to Dorothea and Vernon Anderson in San Francisco, her independent creative spirit carried her through the challenges and joys of rapidly changing the world. She was a dark haired beauty; tall, smart, charismatic, and caring. As a little girl, she treasured being with her friends and her baby brother in tow, and as a teenager she loved games of volleyball with the boys and channeling Lady McBeth in a high school play.
At 18 she married Reginald Cooley, and together they had four children.
Betty was savvy in business throughout careers in the garment industry and property administration. She was an artist and communicator. We have her vibrant paintings to comfort us and more, in snippets of her talent in our memories: a life size 1890’s mural with the mustached bartender and colorfully dressed saloon girls painted for a house party, a framed Elizabethan Nobleman’s portrait to add authenticity to her granddaughter’s school drama, the clothes and costumes she created and sewed, and the expansive park-like garden she designed for her Los Altos Hills home.
Betty was nurturing and devoted to family; passing on to her children, and theirs, valuable lessons learned form her parents, grandparents, and her own experiences through storied tales and sage advice.
Betty is survived and forever held by her dear daughters Linda Smith and her husband Alan, Joan Britt and her husband Paul; sons John Cooley and David Cooley; grandchildren Ariella Cooley, whom she co-raised, and Ariella’s partner Johan Ismael, Laura Roberson and her husband Steven, Michelle Thurston and her husband Chad, Richard Lockmanese, Alycia Cooley, Allison Peterson, Spencer Cooley; and soon to be six great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her loving brother Dr. Clifford Anderson and sister Kathy Smith; her brother’s wife Sharyn, his children and grandchildren.
The family will gather as the sun sets over the Pacific in San Francisco at her beloved Ocean Beach to honor, appreciate, and celebrate this remarkable life.