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On March 5 at 8:30 a.m. at Carle Foundation Hospital at the age of 84, the world lost a wonderful and caring individual. David Benjamin Cooley went to wait for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 12 with a funeral following at 11 a.m. at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St., Champaign.
He was born on March 10, 1934, in Hord, Illinois to John and Gracie Rawding Cooley, who preceded him in death.
On August 31, 1952 he married Maxine Ann Gillen and they had 60 wonderful years together before her death in 2012. They had six children together. Four survive him: David "Mike" Cooley (Dee), Sheryl A. Cooley, Karen Cooley McPeek (Jake), and Kathy L. Mizell (Terry)
He also leaves behind seven granddaughters, two grandsons, nine great-granddaughters and five great-grandsons, who gave him tremendous joy.
One daughter Debbie, one son Mark and one lovely granddaughter, Angel Dawn, preceded him in death, as well as four brothers, and five sisters.
He graduated from Champaign Central High School in 1952 at which time he began employment at the State Geological Survey as a mechanic working his way up to Principal Scientific Technician.
Music was an integral part of his life. For over forty years, he had a country western band called the Arkansas Travelers. They played on the Grand Ole Opry, cut six records, had a television and a radio show which was sponsored by the Sunbeam Corporation and backed several country musical stars such as Ray Price, Faron Young and Billy Walker.
Memorials in honor of David (Ben) may be given to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105