Dillon-Baxter Funeral Home
1276 Berlin Turnpike
Wethersfield, CT 06109
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Richard Paul Cooley

1915 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Richard Paul Cooley Obituary

Richard Paul Cooley died peacefully at home on Thursday, April 24, 2014, just short of his 99th birthday. Richard was born June 27, 1915, in Elwood, Indiana, the son of Ruby Paul Cooley and Anna Louise Yelvington Cooley, both deceased. Richard was predeceased by his wife of sixty-four years, Frances Saladin Cooley. Richard is survived by his daughter, Tracy Ann Cooley, of Winterport, Maine; his sister, Mary Louise Duncan, of Sun City, Arizona; his niece, Dona Williams, of Sonora, California; his nephew, Thomas Williams, of Lido Beach, New York; great-nephews Donald Edwin Williams and his family of Seacliff, New York and Thomas Jay Williams of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many would say Richard was a rare man among men. His gentle manner and compassion were obvious to all who met him. He was a lifelong learner, always eager to listen to others and engage in intellectual and lively conversation. Richard was a very talented classical violinist - which he would call a fiddle. After high school, Richard moved to Washington DC to live with his aunt and uncle. He played the violin as a member of the Bell Trio, which in part financed his education. While attending college in Washington DC, Richard began in engineering but became interested in the study of law - and graduated with a law degree. He wanted to practice law in Indiana and had to attend a "grade A" law school, so after the service, went to night school to attain second law degree at the University of Indiana in Bloomington. Richard served during WWII in the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps from October 1941 until his Honorable Discharge December of 1945. In his capacity as Investigator, Richard was stationed at the Manhattan Project, based at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Richard was also one of the team of military professionals who in July of 1941 accompanied bomb components to San Francisco, to be loaded onto the USS Cruiser Indianapolis for transport to Tinian Island in the Pacific. Richard retired from the Travelers Insurance Company in1980, after serving more than forty years in numerous legal positions within the Company, including Corporate Secretary and Senior Counsel. He worked an additional twenty years as an Administrator for Connecticut Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association, retiring from that post in 2005, at ninety years of age. In his leisure time, Richard and his wife, Frances enjoyed restoration of their 1760's home in Wethersfield, Connecticut. A gifted carpentry and quality furniture maker, Richard found great satisfaction in restoring and updating their home. He was an active member of the Wethersfield Historical Society for many years. He had a lifelong interest in history in general and the Civil War in particular. Richard and Frances enjoyed traveling all over the world. They greatly enjoyed attending the theatre, especially Theatreworks and the Good Speed Opera House. At his request, there will be no calling hours or service. Burial in Indiana will be at the convenience of the family. You may share your memories of Richard or any expression of condolence by visiting www.dillonbaxter.com. There will be a celebration of his life on June 27th from 4-7 p.m. at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center 200 Main St. in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Those who wish to may make a donation in Richard's memory to Operation Smile at www.operationsmile.org , or to an organization of their choice.

Published in The Hartford Courant on June 12, 2014
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