Maria Helen Cooley, 63 years of age of Oxford

Courtesy/Nelson Bauer Funeral Home

Celebration of Life Services for Maria H. Cooley will be held on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Oxford, Nebraska with Reverend Eldon E. Fablinger, officiating. Inurnment will be held at the Immanuel Cemetery north of Bertrand, Nebraska.

Maria Helen Cooley, 63 years of age of Oxford, passed away on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at Holdrege Memorial Homes. She was born June 15, 1950 at Holdrege, the youngest of three daughters born to Neil and Lenore (High) Morrison. She was baptized as an infant at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bertrand, was a strong Christian and member of the youth group. She was raised on a farm east of Bertrand. She received her education from Bertrand Community School, graduating from Bertrand High School with the class of 1968. Maria learned to love music, sang in school and church groups and played the trombone in the high school band. Maria then pursued higher education at Kearney State College, receiving her Bachelors of Science Degree in Medical Technology. Her degree led her to her employment at the Veteran's Home in Grand Island, Nebraska. Questioning her career choice, she drove "Sabrina" her gold colored Plymouth to Limon, Colorado to visit her cousin, Sue. This is where Maria would meet her future husband, James Cooley. Just by accident, Jim canceled a job interview in Arizona and drove from Denver to Limon to visit Maria's cousin. After meeting Maria, on the second day of their introduction, Jim proposed to Maria saying, "I've never met anyone I liked more than you! Will you marry me?" She hesitated only momentarily and said, yes. On September 14, 1974 Maria was united in marriage to James R. Cooley of Limon and to this union two sons were born: Christopher and Robert. The family made their home in Arizona for a couple of years, and then resided in McCook, Limon, Ft. Morgan, Colorado and then settled to Oxford in 1984. Jim and Maria owned and operated the Oxford Standard for 29 years, where she was the co-editor and wrote a weekly column that was "The Adventures of Bugs and Critter" which were nicknames for her two sons. She was honored by the Nebraska Press Association for her column. Later in years, Maria was employed Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege as a secretary in the Home Health Department until her health began to fail.

Maria was a member of the United Methodist Church in Oxford, where she taught youth groups and was involved with the United Methodist Women's Friendship Circle. Not having any daughters, she enjoyed being involved with girl scouts in Arizona for a couple years. She also enjoyed assisting in the organizing of the Oxford 4th of July Celebration, "Pork in the Park."

She was preceded in death by her parents. Maria leaves to mourn her passing; her husband, Jim Cooley of Oxford; two sons: Chris Cooley and his wife, Jessica of Lincoln, Nebraska and Rob Cooley and his wife, Elizabeth of Kearney, Nebraska; four granddaughters: Brooklynn, Addyson, and Taytm Cooley and BreAnna Cooley; two sisters: Glee Nelson and her husband, Dale of McPherson, Kansas and Libby Hinze and her husband, Bill of Santa Clarita, California; sister-in-law, Luanne Winkelman of Limon; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

A memorial book signing will be held on Sunday, May 11, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the family greeting from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Mitchell-Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Oxford.
A memorial has been established in Maria's honor and kindly suggested to the United Methodist Church of Oxford.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com.

The Mitchell-Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home of Oxford is in charge of the arrangements.

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