Helen R. Cooley, age 96, died Friday, Oct. 1, in her home in Livermore. A long-time Livermore resident, she was born in Concord, California, on Nov. 2, 1924 to Ira K. and Vada Rose as the sixth of seven children. She is survived by her younger sister, Marlene Carlton and her husband Lodge, her two sons, Donald and Patrick and their wives Sheryl and Nita, five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren who called her “Grandma GG.”
Helen was a graduate of Berkeley High School (1942), and following World War II, while raising two young sons, returned to the University of California at Berkeley to complete her B.A. degree and earn her teaching credential in 1960. She taught for 32 years in the Berkeley and Mt. Diablo school districts. She provided class after class of primary grade children with a firm learning foundation; some students she had in first grade have maintained contact with her for decades, sharing news of their own growing families and professional careers from across the country, including occasional visits to Livermore for lunchtime gatherings. Her devoted past students often spoke of experiencing the same loving and caring personal attention that graced the growing up years of both her sons.
Helen thoroughly enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, quilting, and playing piano in a piano group. “Mom” was known as the perennial “Employee of the Month” at Cooleykatz Toy Store in Livermore, owned by her son Patrick and his wife Nita. She will be deeply missed by her family and all who knew her.