Archive | October 23, 2011

Sentimental Sunday Darnell Leonard Cooley Sr

Darnell Leonard Cooley
July 25, 1964-Oct 6, 2006

     Our friendships are intertwined and woven into the tapestry of our family histories.  This is the fifth year anniversary of the homegoing of a dear friend whom I only knew about five years, but had made a great impact in my life.  I would be remiss if I didn’t honor our friendship.

     I remember his booming voice, and his rolling laughter that was contagious.  He was a serious character but at the same time he had a sense of humor that could make a whole room laugh in an instant.  Whenever Darnell went anywhere the two things he wanted to know was, “Where is the closest Walmart, and Where’s my Pepsi?”

     Our paths crossed during political campaign seasons, and our friendship developed from the many hours spent over campaigning.  His friendship and encouragement through tough times will be forever missed.

      Darnell shared with me a humorous moment when he was at church and the pastor was speaking and he said “All Right!”  and the whole congregation rose to their feet thinking he said “All Rise!”  Oh he had me in stitches!

     Darnell was a great man of stature, I could only imagine how his life would have been had he continued in this journey on this side of the world.

Yvette & Darnell
Black Ministers Event we coordinated

Darnell L. Cooley was the only child born to the union of Gloria Phillips-Cooley and Ellis Cooley on July 25,1964, in Stockton, California.  He graduated from Franklin Unified High School in Stockton in 1982.  He also graduated from University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science-Public Service in 1987.  He was united in holy matrimony with Patricia Renee’ Morgan on August 30, 1986.  To this union was born two children.

In 1988, Darnell began a successful and illustrious employment career with the California State Legislature.  During his tenure with the Legislature, he worked as a consultant with various elected officials including Speaker Willie L. Brown, J., Speaker Herbert J. Wesson, Jr. and Assembly members Mervyn M. Dymally, Barbara Lee and Roderick D. Wright.  He also served as the chief staff person to the Legislative Black Caucus and was the quintessential staffer amongst the African-American staff for almost 20 years.  Darnell had a zest for life and was a dynamic figure in the State Capitol and at conventions around the country.  You could see the wheels constantly turning in his head, hear his booming laughter and witness the passion with which he pursued all his goals.  One of his key fascinations was visiting each of the Disney World attractions around the globe.

Darnell was very active in many social and political causes.  He held various offices of increasing responsibility with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and was serving his second term as the 1st Vice President for the State of California, and was a Silver lifetime Member.  He began his political career with the Black American Political Association of California (BAPAC).  Darnell was also a member of the African American Male National Council.  He was an active member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Sacramento Chapter and served as the fraternity’s Western Regional Director.  Darnell has received numerous awards and accolades from political, social and fraternal organizations.

Darnell campaigning with:
Darnell’s Best Friend Fred Goodman, me and Cheryl Phelps

More importantly, Darnell was a true believer and entrusted his life to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He was baptized at Greater Faith Baptist Church in Stockton where he later served as a junior deacon and sang in the choir.  Most recently, he was a member of Sheep of the Good Shepherd Baptist Fellowship Church.  He loved singing and was a tenor with the Sacramento Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.

Darnell was preceded in death by his father, Ellis Cooley, and leaves to cherish his memory his mother, wife and two children, and a host of relatives and friends.

[portions omitted]

End of Campaign Celebration Dinner

“Darnell, we celebrate the wisdom, compassion, generosity, smiles, joy, kindness and LOVE that you always shared.”

“Portion of Obituary came from Celebration of Life Handout”