Mary Lu was born on September 25th, 1927 to Berneice and Samuel Wood. She spent her childhood living in rural Mt. Hope, and graduated from Mt. Hope High School in 1945. After graduating, Mary Lu began working as a nurse’s aide at New San Hospital in Prairie du Chien, and met the love of her life, Eugene Cooley, as he returned home from serving in WWII. They were married February 9th, 1948 at Mt. Hope, and began their married life living in Bagley. Their daughter, Janean, was born May 19, 1949. In 1950, they moved to Woodman where they made their home and spent the rest of their lives together. Their son, Roger, joined the family June 30, 1952.
In 1958, Mary Lu began working at Druck’s Department Store in Boscobel, and in 1966 at JC Penney, where she was employed until its closing in 1987. She then went back to Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and obtained her CNA license. Mary Lu worked as a CNA at Boscobel Nursing Home until her retirement in 2011 (age 84). She enjoyed both jobs and made many lifelong friends.
Mary Lu was a homemaker, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother first, but she was also very active with church, GFWC Women’s Club, and the American Legion Auxiliary. She and Gene enjoyed dancing, boating, and Badger Football games, all while getting together with family and friends. Their connections to their many, many friends were incomparable, and cherished.
Mary Lu is survived by her son, Roger (Sharon) of Cedar Park, TX; grandchildren – Melissa (Mendim) Tairi of Prairie du Chien, WI, Sara (Steve) Cooley Broschart of Mercer Island, WA, Todd (Tanya) Miller of Woodman, WI; and Eric (Katie) Cooley of Avondale ,PA; great-grandchildren - Kayla Rupp, Ella Smith, Tyler, Tatum, Taryn, and Tyson Miller, Brooks and Harper Cooley, and Dean Broschart; brothers Gary Wood, Bob (Sharon) Wood, and Al (Janet) Wood; sister Sandy (Bernie) Knesting; sister-in-law Caroline Wood; son-in-law Mike Miller; and special friends Deanna Shimpach, Noreen Clark, and Donna King; along with many nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Gene, dear daughter Janean, brother Gerald, her parents Sam and Berniece Wood, and parents-in-law Elgie and Roxa Cooley.
A public viewing and visitation will be held Friday, August 6th, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at the Kendall Funeral Home in Boscobel. Private family services will take place on Saturday, with burial taking place at the Bagley cemetery. All family and friends are invited and encouraged to attend a Celebration of Life for both Gene and Mary Lu at the Boscobel Bowl and Banquet on Saturday, August 7th, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations on behalf of Mary Lu be made to the organizations of her choosing – Woodman First Responders, the Village of Woodman Park, and Boscobel Rescue Squad.
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