Music 02

Parke Wayne Cooley

January 21, 1929 ~ November 8, 2021 (age 92)

Obituary Image

Obituary

PARKE WAYNE COOLEY
Parke Wayne Cooley, 92, transitioned to glory on November 8, 2021.

Numbers 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine
upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift his countenance upon you;
and give you peace.”

Born in Akron on January 21, 1929, he graduated from Central High School
in 1947. He attended The Akron University and graduated with a bachelors
(1953) and a masters (1955) in vocal music education from Kent State
University. His musical talent was nurtured by his dear teacher and friend,
Miss Mabel Todd at Central HS. Parke worked at Goodyear at night and
attended Akron U during the day, while saving up money to spend his
freshman year at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He
had intended to become a professional singer, but soon realized how many
talented singers there were and that a career as a singer would take a lot of
work. Parke was a paid tenor in Akron, Ohio at churches and many elite
social events. After graduation, Parke served in the Army at Fort Carson in
Colorado and Iceland. He was an older soldier and was blessed to be
assigned as a chaplain’s assistant, delivered mail, and was asked by the
General in Iceland to organize a men’s chorus.

After his stint in the Army, he became the vocal music teacher at the
University School at Kent State before beginning his 30 year career as a
beloved, and sometimes feared, vocal music teacher at Stow High School.
He also directed choirs in several churches over the years and taught
private voice lessons.

Parke incorporated many traditions for his students that he learned from
Miss Todd and at Westminster. “I’ve been labeled a perfectionist, but it’s
just that we have a limited amount of time to make ourselves better.”
Concerts began with the “Star Spangled Banner” and ended with “The Lord
Bless You and Keep You” when at Christmastime alumni were asked to
join in. “A Time for Parting” was a sentimental song for the Spring
Serenade concert each May. All of this was performed on a stage in a high
school gymnasium.

Parke was preceded in death by parents, William and Laura Cooley; his
dear Grandmother Tilly; sister, Sarah Hudson and brother-in-law, Charles
Hudson; Helene Cooley; in-laws; Homer and Leona Claypoole; and
nephew Randall Hudson. He leaves behind his daughters, Lauralee (Steve)
Stiffler and Elisa (Dan) Raicevich; grandchildren, Tim (Chelsea), Bill (Erin),
Allyson (Harper) and Erika; great grandchildren, Grayson, Sara, Bennett S.,
Lucas, Dominic, Bennett H., Lennon and AsaBelle; loving family members
Gail, Paul (Amy), Bonnie, Lola and Nova (Lee); many dear friends,
especially Ted and Laura Root, and hundreds of students.

The funeral service will be held Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 12:00
p.m. at Family of Faith United Methodist Church, 800 E. Market St. Akron,
OH with Rev. Ron Shultz officiating. Past Stow HS choir members and the
congregation will be invited to sing, “ The Lord Bless You and Keep You” at
the conclusion of the service. The family will receive friends from 10:30 -
noon prior to the service at the church. Masks are required in the church.
There will be a private interment at East Akron Cemetery. For those who
can’t attend, a recording of the service will be posted on Lauralee Stiffler’s
Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made
to Family of Faith UMC or to the Parke Wayne Cooley Music Scholarship
fund with the Stow-Munroe Falls High School Choir Boosters. Paypal -
smfchoir.org/cooley or mail checks to: SMF Choir Boosters, 1259 Ritchie
Rd., Stow, OH 44224.

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
November 20, 2021

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Family of Faith United Methodist Church (St. Akron, OH)

Funeral Service
Saturday
November 20, 2021

12:00 PM
Family of Faith United Methodist Church (St. Akron, OH)

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