Charles Terrance Cooley

January 27, 1930  ~  July 20, 2011

Charles Terrance Cooley
January 27, 1930 - July 20, 2011

Visitation: Jul 25, 2011 • 6 to 8 p.m.
- Location: Southern Utah Mortuary

Second Visitation: Jul 26, 2011 • 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
- Location: LDS Cedar North Stake Chapel

Services: Jul 26, 2011 • 11:00 a.m.
- Location: LDS Cedar North Stake Chapel

Charles Terrance Cooley, 81, passed away July 20, 2011, in Cedar City, Utah.

He was born January 27, 1930, in Kaysville, Utah, to Charles Bennett and Lita Orr Cooley. He was the third of four children, including older brother Frank, older sister Gwen, and younger brother Keith.Within a few months, the family moved to Cedar City.

There he graduated from Cedar City High School and the College of Southern Utah (now Southern Utah University), where he lettered in football.

He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1954, where he was a crypto operator and coded secret messages in Japan.

He married his sweetheart, Donna Wilde, November 25, 1955. Their marriage was sealed for all eternity in the St. George LDS Temple, November 23, 1956.

Charlie was a businessman and used his love of talking to people to become an accomplished salesman. He worked many years selling insurance and auto parts in Cedar City and Las Vegas, and started and operated two of his own businesses: Alpine Pest Control and Utah Solar. He also spent ten years working as a building supervisor at Southern Utah University, where he established the S.W.A.T. maintenance team for the Centrum Arena.

He enjoyed the out-of-doors, and loved the cabin he built with in own hands on Cedar Mountain. He also was active in the Iron County and Las Vegas Sheriff’s Jeep Search and Rescue for several years.

In 1994, along with his wife, Donna, he started building wooden toys for his grandchildren and other children in his neighborhood. This soon grew into a non-profit company, The Happy Factory, that has built and shipped over one million toys made from scrap wood to needy children all around the world. The Happy Factory has also been a blessing for hundreds of volunteers who have cut, glued, sanded, and oiled the toys and become converts to Charlie’s motto: "We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try."

Charlie was a faithful member of the LDS Church, serving as elders quorum president, ward clerk, executive secretary, high priests group leader, and faithful home teacher. He had a strong and humble testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Donna; his daughters, Jolene (Bruce) Lee and Kristine Cooley; his sister-in-law, Dona Cooley; his brother, Keith (Mignon) Cooley; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Other special family members include two foster grandsons and five foster great-grandchidren, and Jennifer Larson, daughter of Ed and Nedra Larson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Bennett and Lita Orr Cooley; brother, Frank; and sister and brother-in-law, Hal and Gwen Lund.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. in the Cedar City North Stake Center, 95 N. 2125 West.

Viewings will be Monday, July 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Southern Utah Mortuary in Cedar City and prior to services on Tuesday, July 26 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the stake center.

Interment will be immediately following the funeral in the Cedar City Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to The Happy Factory, 896 N. 2175 West, Cedar City, UT 84721.

Southern Utah Mortuary

July 23, 2011, 4:14 pm-

Donna, Jolene, Kris and families:
So sorry to hear about Charlie.What a gentle giant he was as long as we knew him. We were all so blessed to have known him, and the memories and love he shared. What a great husband, father, grandfather and person. It was so touching that you all came to
McKinzies baptism, and how special your entire family friendship has been forever.
Our deepest sympathies are with you all. We send our love and cherish all of the lifelong memories.

Lisa, Henrie, and the entire Miller family.

- Lisa Miller

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