Mary Ellen Cooley was born February 4, 1939 to P.M. and Betty Cooley in Tuttle, Oklahoma, and passed into the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on May 10, 2018 at Norman Regional Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, at the age of 79 years, 3 months and 6 days. She was the third of nine children born to P.M. and Betty and the first girl.
She married Darrell Wayne Simpson on September 3, 1956 and to this union two sons were born, Michael Wayne Simpson and Phillip Joe Simpson. She was very proud of the accomplishments of both of her sons, Mike was an accomplished attorney, teacher, and speaker. Joe served the State of Oklahoma as a State Trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for over 28 years.
She was involved in hers sons' lives throughout their school years as a member and office holder of the PTA, through the FFA, as homeroom mother and as supporter of all their interests. She held several offices in the PTA including President. She traveled to several PTA conventions, wrote numerous letters and received several awards.
She worked as an aide for Project STAY and TOK through the Moore Schools under the supervision of her good friend Mrs. Pat Ross. In this program, she taught several subjects to the students that needed more attention in those subjects.
She would tell people that she was blessed by two daughters that she gained when her sons married. She loved her sons very much, but was over the moon when her two grandchildren were born, first Jeremy and then Charity. She gained a second granddaughter when Jeremy married Katina. She loved being with her grandchildren and being involved in their lives through conversations and visitation. She worried over them, scolded them, prayed for them and fought for them. They always knew they had a champion in their Grams. They are very precious to her.
In 2012, the sun, the moon and the stars were given to her when Jaxson Lee Simpson was born to Jeremy and Katina. Every conversation since that time has included at least one reference to Jaxson. She adored Jaxson and looked forward to visits and phone calls from him, his parents and from Charity.
She loved her family and looked forward to every get-together, no matter what the occasion.
She had an amazing talent of handwork and crafts. Every member of the family has been the recipient of something either crocheted or knitted, or a ceramic or wooden item that was hand made by her. She spent many hours making items and then selling them at craft shows, donating them or giving them as gifts.
She loved to cook for family, friends and strangers with dessert being her favorite items to make. Her blackberry wine cake was a favorite item and was zealously guarded by the recipient so no one else would steal it. Her most memorable dish, remembered by her sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren was her cricket dressing.
She lived in Moore from 1960 until her health necessitated a move to Grace Living Center in Norman, Oklahoma, where she gained many more friends and recipients of her handiwork. She crocheted lap quilts for all 33 residents of her hall and caps and scarves for all the staff. She took great delight in teaching the staff and residents to crochet and knit.
She was a member of Regency Park Baptist Church in Moore, Oklahoma, and loved attending services. She gave of her time to the committee for organizing meals for funerals and for people who were sick or had been in the hospital. She also gave her time to the Clothes Closet, to sewing for the back to school clothes project and the military project. She was saddened that she could not attend after her move to Grace but many of the members of the church would come to visit her.
She is preceded in death by her son, Michael Wayne Simpson, daughter-in-law, Taunya Simpson, her parents, three brothers, Henry Cooley, Paul Cooley and Ples Cooley, and one sister, Ellie Oliver.
She is survived by her son, Phillip Joe Simpson and wife, Laura, of Canute, Oklahoma; grandson, Jeremy Simpson and wife, Katina, of New Port Richey, Florida; granddaughter, Charity Simpson of New Port Richey, Florida; and great-grandson, Jaxson Lee Simpson of New Port Richey, Florida; sisters, B.J. Cummins of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Lela French and husband, John, of Moore, Oklahoma; brothers, Horace “Hoss” Cooley and wife, Ruth, of Piedmont, Oklahoma, and Mahlon “Skip” Cooley of Bethany, Oklahoma; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She will be greatly missed by all.
Visitation will be held Monday, May 14th from 4:00PM to 7:00PM at Moore Funeral & Cremation, 400 SE 19th Street, Moore, Oklahoma, 73160.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 15th at 2:00PM at Regency Park Baptist Church, 2001 N. Janeway Avenue, Moore, OK 73160, with Pastor Keith Jacobs officiating. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle, Oklahoma.