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Haskell Leon Cooley

April 15, 1939 — April 2, 2024

Wichita

Haskell Leon Cooley

Haskell was born on April 15, 1939 in Buffalo Valley, Oklahoma to William Arthur and Vernie Leo Cooley. Haskell grew up in the country on a farm. He enjoyed playing basketball, baseball, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, squirrel and raccoon hunting, playing marbles, and pitching horseshoes. He was also an avid domino player.

He graduated from Buffalo Valley High School in 1957 and was the salutatorian of his class. He received his Associate of Arts degree from Eastern Oklahoma College in 1959. He then attended East Central University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Education in 1962. After graduation he taught at Lowell Junior High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Haskell's love for music began at an early age. He would often pretend to play the piano as a child. His parents got him a piano when he was nine years old and he started playing by ear. He started playing at their local church as a boy. At the age of 14 he attended the Stamps Quartet School of Music. He continued his musical education by taking music theory, piano and voice lessons in college. He, his brothers and nieces started different groups that he played piano for and sang with. He started playing for his first quartet, The Travelers Quartet when he was 13 years old. 

Haskell moved to Wichita in 1962 to teach piano. He met his wife, JoLee, in January 1963 when she became one of his piano students and they started dating. On November 14, 1963, he was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana. He received an early discharge in 1965 so he could teach school at McLish Public Schools in Fittstown, Oklahoma. On June 11, 1966, he and JoLee were married. Not long after they were married, they opened a music store in Ada, Oklahoma where they taught piano and voice lessons as well as sold sheet music and records. They also started Headline Publishing Company. In May 1972 he was asked to play piano for a singing group called the Weatherfords. After paying with the Weatherfords for 2 years, he was contacted by a member of a popular gospel group, the Cathedrals, to become their piano player. He accepted the offer and he and JoLee moved to Stow, Ohio where the group was located. He started playing for them in March 1974.

While playing for The Cathedrals they won multiple Dove awards and were nominated for a Grammy. While living in Ohio, they had their first child, Cason Jay Cooley on November, 28, 1978. Wanting to spend more time with his family, Haskell decided to quit The Cathedrals in January 1979. In March 1979, He and JoLee then decided to move to Wichita, Kansas where JoLee's family lived. 

Haskell and JoLee started their own group as a duet and performed together for the fist time on May 3, 1979. They became a trio on April 4, 1985 when their son Cason began singing with them. On January 14, 1985 their daughter Camissa Breeann Cooley was born. The first time all four of them sang together was on November 10, 1988. Haskell and JoLee spent 40 years performing together in hundreds of churches across the United States. They performed their last show on December 8, 2019. 

Haskell passed away on April 2, 2024 at the age of 84 surrounded by his wife and children after battling Alzheimers for several years. He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Vernie (Foster) Cooley; brothers, William Arthur Cooley Jr., Doyle Cooley, Nathan Cooley, Osban "Joe" Cooley, Billy Cooley, Bobby Cooley, Eddie Cooley, Deuel Rose, Chester Cooley; and infant daughter Candra Cooley. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, JoLee (Buhrer) Cooley, son, Cason (Katie) Cooley of Nashville, TN; daughter, Camissa (Keith) Dater of Wichita, KS; grandsons, Rowan, Knox, and Everett Cooley of Nashville, TN; brother James (Marcella) Cooley of Sapulpa, OK; sister, Louise (Cooley) Winsworth of Bixby, OK, along with many nieces, nephews and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, April 6, at Friendship Baptist Church. A graveside service will be held on Sunday, April 7, at Laura McGee Cemetery in Latimer County, Oklahoma.


A memorial has been established with: 
Kansans For Life
3301 W 13th St N
Wichita, KS 67203
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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, April 5, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Cozine Memorial Group - Broadway Mortuary

1147 S. Broadway, Wichita, KS 67211

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Friendship Baptist Church

2209 E Pawnee St, Wichita, KS 67211

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Graveside Service

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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