Frank P. Cooley
Frank Cooley
Frank P. Cooley

July 6, 1945 - December 1, 2018
Born in Jefferson, IA
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Frank P. Cooley, 73, passed away December 1, 2018 at Central Iowa VA Medical Center in Des Moines. Visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7, 2018 at Iles Westover Chapel, with a funeral service at 5:00 to 5:30 p.m., with the Reverend Don Elly officiating. Continued visitation and a time of fellowship at the funeral home to follow. Interment will be held on Monday, December 10 at 9:30 a.m. at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

Frank was born on July 6, 1945 in Jefferson, Iowa. He was the son of Kenneth and Mary (Pryor) Cooley. He graduated from Earlham High School in 1964 and nine days later proudly joined the US Army, where he served until being honorably discharged in 1967. He served as a combat medic in the Vietnam War. This experience and the knowledge he gained would later become the driving force for his successful career of dedicating his life to serving others.

Frank joined the Iowa State Patrol in 1968 as a Trooper and then as a State Narcotics Agent with the Division of Narcotics Enforcement. In 1975, he started with the Des Moines Fire Department. Recognizing his leadership skills and talents, Frank was named the first Emergency Medical Services Coordinator for the City of Des Moines. This led to the ending of “Scoop and Run”.

Frank retired in 1996 and remained an active part of the Des Moines community. Volunteering and humbly serving others continued to be a very important part of his retirement. He had an uncanny ability to find individuals and groups that needed a helping hand. He was a member of All Saints Church and a former member of the Knights of Columbus. He was very proud of his family and did an incredible job being a positive role model to anyone he came to know. As a way to continue to give to others upon his death, Frank was an organ donor.

Frank is survived by his wife, Teresa; children, Scott (Jennifer) Cooley and Laura (Scott) Tryon; step children, Benjamen, Lauren and Erin Shields; grandchildren, Tanner (Shyanne) Cooley and Aidan Cooley, Briley and Carter Tryon, and Michael Anthony, Keira and Mason; and Scott and Laura’s mother, Marcia Hewitt. Frank is also survived by several cousins, many in-laws: John (Michelle) Renick, Fred (Jen) Van Liew, Liz (Mark) Rush, Michael Ganley, Micheal (Rose) Gay, Jodi and (Mike) White. And so many nieces and nephews they could fill both sides of the line on a football field. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Special thanks to the VA staff and volunteers of all disciplines who cared for Mr. Cooley, also affectionately known as the “Candy Man”. They cared for Frank and his family with persistent respect and thoughtfulness. Those who supported Frank and Teresa during his challenging journey: Reverend Donald Elly who always had a prayer and a hand and hug at all the right times. Dr. Larry Baker always a friend and advisor of matters of love and logic. Dr. Michael Flood for guidance and expertise wisely teaching us this is a “marathon and not a race, pace yourselves”.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Central Iowa VA Medical Center, Community Living Center (CLC) or ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer. Online condolences are welcome at

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel

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Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Friday, December 7, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Friday, December 7, 2018
5:00 PM
additional visitation and time of fellowship
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Friday, December 7, 2018
5:30 PM
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, IA US 50003
Monday, December 10, 2018
9:30 AM


VA Des Moines Community Living Center
3600 30th St.
Des Moines, IA 50310
ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer
515 King Street Suite 420
Alexandria, VA 22314