Cooley Rita Marie Theresa Sexton Cooley, 81, died peacefully on Jan. 20, 2003 of lung cancer. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis and Edina. Rita was a graduate of West High School, then attended business college while she was the sole support of her family; mother, Marguerite, sister, Frances Mary, and brother, Robert. After the marriage of Rita and Frank in 1946, Rita's sister Frannie became a part of the new family. Rita is survived by her husband, Frank; their daughter, Lynn and son-in-law, Larry Thayer; and their three children, Rusty, Caitlin, and Frank. Rita was the quintessential grandmother to the Thayer children as well as aunt to Frances Gerber's children, Rita, Tom, Kathy, Linda and Peggy and G'ram by her many friends along Oakdale Avenue. The nicknames "G'ram" and "Aunt Rita" joined her lifelong nickname "Reets" which was given her by kindergarten friends at St. Thomas the Apostle church school. A memorial visitation will be held Thursday, Jan. 23, 7 to 9 PM at Gill Brothers Funeral Chapel, 5801 Lyndale Ave S. No flowers are requested. Interment will be a private ceremony at Fort Snelling National Cemetery Friday, followed by Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Chapel at 11:00 AM. Ladies may honor Reets by wearing beige. Donations may be directed to St. Thomas Church, 2914 West 44th St., Mpls., or to the Minnesota Masonic Home Unity Center, 11501 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington, MN 55437. GILL BROTHERS 612-861-6088

Published on January 21, 2003

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