Cover photo for Michael L. Cooley's Obituary
Michael L. Cooley Profile Photo

Michael L. Cooley

Mike passed away unexpectedly, Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

He was born October 12, 1960, the son of Lewis and Barbara (Langeance) Cooley. Mike was a 1978 Otsego High School graduate and lifelong resident of the area. Mike was a selfless parent and devoted friend. He passionately lived for spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Mike belonged to the Wormburner, enjoyed days on the lake, adventures at Silver Lake, hunting, fishing and was a jack of all trades. He was an extraordinarily dedicated work horse with a limitless work ethic. He worked for RockTenn Paper Mill for over 30 years followed by years as a HVAC tech throughout the area. On October 17, 1987 he married the love of his life, Cindy Anderson who passed away in 2002.

Surviving are his loving children, Rachelle Cooley and Matthew Cooley both of Otsego; he was Papa to his grandchildren, Kayden Bienz, Aliahana “Peanut” Cooley, Skylane Smith and Gideon “G” Smith; siblings, Stef (Mack) Makela and Sue (Rick) Rickli both of Otsego; mother and father-in-law, Judy and Rodger Anderson and brother-in-law, Jeffrey Anderson along with several nieces, nephews and extended family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and several close friends who were inherently family.

A private memorial will take place at a later time.

Contributions in memory of Mike may be made to the

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


Offer Condolence for the family of Michael L. Cooley

Condolence Messages

Marcia Sorensen

July 22, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Stef & Susie,

So sorry for your loss. Sending love & prayers your way.



Sherry and Ken Schumaker

July 22, 2020 at 2:25 pm

The Cooley Family:

Sending our deepest sympathies and support during this very difficult time. Mike had a great sense of humor and you could tell he truly enjoyed life and he will be missed.


Cindy Trammell

July 22, 2020 at 2:28 pm

My condolences, love and prayers for Mike’s family. I knew him best in junior high and high school and lost touch until Facebook reconnected us. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful man.


Sherry Hanso

July 22, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Sue& Steph & extended family – I’m so sorry to hear about Mike . I didn’t know him well but he always had a smile when I ran into him. May God bring His comfort during this time .


Sherry & Mike Hanson


Pete &Lynn Hamman

July 22, 2020 at 2:46 pm

We are saddened by his loss, what a great friend he always has been.

Our love to the ffamily ~ ♡

Pete and Lynn


Ron and Ruth Young

July 22, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Goodbye for now , Go be in Peace with Cindy. Love you both, lots of younger years memories old friend



July 22, 2020 at 3:20 pm

RIP MIKE. I’ve know you since school. Go be with Cindy and spread your wings. Watch over you children and grand babies. I know you will be missed.


Linda (McDonald) Leafdale

July 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm

I am so sorry to see that Mike passed away! He was a one of a kind guy and I absolutely loved him! The Angels have gained another beautiful soul and I pray for peace and comfort during this sad time for his sisters, his family and their friends. It was a blessing to have known him.


Kim Sheldon

July 22, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Sue, Stef, Rachel And Matt,

Our deepest sympathies are with you. Hold the wonderful memories you all have with Mike close to your heart.

Y’all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Kim and Bryon Sheldon

Fairhope, AL


The Gray Family

July 23, 2020 at 5:39 pm

So sorry to hear about Mike. Deepest sympathies to the family. May your memories comfort you at this time.


Darcy Netser

July 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm

So sorry for your loss my prayers are with your family


Marilyn Abernathy

July 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm

Stephanie, Sue and all of Mike’s family, I’m so sorry to hear this news of Mike’s passing! But so happy we had such a wonderful conversation and reconnecting the last time I saw him. I will be keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers for your days ahead.

Marilyn (Root) Abernathy


Aaron & Heather Boone

July 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm

So sorry to hear the passing of Mike. He was such a great guy and awesome wrestling fan. I will always remember our conversations at tournaments and him checking in on me. He had a special energy about him. Will be missed.


Wendy and John Lovett

July 22, 2020 at 4:07 pm

To the Cooley family,

Our hearts and prayers are with you all at this awful time. He will be forever missed. The memories we have of Mike will never fade and always bring a smile to our faces. Hope you are able to find peace with your love and memories! Sending you love and hugs. Cindy will take good care of him.


Bill, Lynn Brock & Ryan Mollitor

July 22, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Sending our heartfelt condolences to the entire Cooley/Anderson families. We are praying for you during this most difficult of times.


Natalie Witt

July 22, 2020 at 4:33 pm

Sue & family …. you are in my thoughts and prayers! Rest easy Mike ….


Linda Bent Rantz

July 22, 2020 at 4:47 pm

There isn’t a time when I did not know Mike. Growing up camping canoeing and traveling. Will miss running into you at the grocery store and talking for half hour or so. You will be missed.


Sarah Clemens

July 22, 2020 at 5:04 pm

To the entire family,

Our deepest condolences to you all, may all those loving memories help to bring you all comfort and peace in the coming days. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

Tom and Sarah (Volker)Clemens and family


Brittany Atwood

July 22, 2020 at 5:20 pm

I’m so sorry chelle bug. I love you and am always here. He was an amazing man.


Patricia Nyberg

July 22, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Stef, so sorry for the loss of brother. Family is so precious.


Barbara (Austin) Blanchard

July 22, 2020 at 6:42 pm

May your memories give you peace and comfort. Our mother Onalee Austin, sends her condolences to the Cooley family as well. She remembers all of you & your folks. Prayers for all of you from the Austin Family.


Jake B

July 22, 2020 at 6:52 pm

You will be missed my friend. I’ll always remember the time we spent on the golf course during the worm burner, and the conversations we had at the farmers market. You were always great person and held a great conversation. Rest easy.


Debbie and Tom Benzie

July 22, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Our deepest condolences to your family, sending prayers and Hugs. Mike has made a huge impression on many people and was loved by all. RIP Mike


Mark DeLavern

July 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm

I knew Mike more so many years ago. He and I won a wormburner outing about 30 years ago. I still relive it on occasion. Only because Mike was so much fun to have fun with. Easy going, caring person.

Prayers for his family & friends. May he be at peace in HEAVEN.


Tammia Payne

July 22, 2020 at 8:04 pm

My Condolences to the Family. Truly Sorry for you Loss, Rest in Peace Mike


Bryon Campbell

July 22, 2020 at 8:10 pm

Family of Mike Cooley,

In my middle school years Mike and I spent a lot of time together. Hanging out in the garage, playing ping pong, playing basketball, riding bikes in the neighborhood, and listening to music. That garage on Hammond Street was a cool place to be…. we painted it, cleaned it and had a party in it. I also remember how hard it was for Mike during his Dad’s illness with kidney disease. It had to be hard for a middle school age kid to loose his Dad as such an impressionable age. Mike always had a great attitude, I am sure it hurt but he made it through this tough time.

I wish you all peace and prayers during this difficult time.


Alex DeBoer

July 23, 2020 at 7:59 am

You will be missed by everybody you came into contact with at VDM Mike. You were an awesome coworker and amazing guy to work with! My condolences go out to his family and kids and pray that peace be over all who were in his life.


James Harvey

July 22, 2020 at 8:12 pm

I’m lost for words and totally sadden to hear of your loss.

Mike was one heck of a guy, always fired up and ready to enjoy life.

God Bless You All

Love Yea

Jim Harvey


Mary Brewster Brennan

July 22, 2020 at 8:12 pm

Rachelle and Matt

My prayers are with you and your family. Your dad was a wonderful, kind hearted man. He will be greatly missed.


Fred Bosma

July 22, 2020 at 8:25 pm

Our deepest sympathies and prayers of comfort we send to all of you who called Mike , Brother, Dad, Grandpa and friend! May God look after all of you in the days ahead and bless you with His love. Fred & Sue Bosma❤️


Terri Cronen

July 22, 2020 at 8:46 pm

Goodbye my lifelong friend. Prayers to your family.


Erin Windemuller

July 22, 2020 at 11:53 pm

Dear Mikes Family. I am a maintenance tech and I regularly worked with Mike on different projects. He and I shared a bond of the love of wrestling and family. He spoke a lot about his family and loved them dear. He spoke of his love for his grandchildren often. The HVAC world lost a wonderful man with great knowledge and the ability to share and teach that knowledge to anyone at any time. My prayer is that of comfort for his children and grandchildren that they know this very giving man will be missed. I will see you later my friend.


Emily Mills

July 23, 2020 at 1:12 am

Stef , Sue and families-

I’m so sorry to hear about Mike. I wish I could do something to ease your pain. I have so many fond memories of him being the annoying little brother. We could never stay mad long once he grinned at us. Sending love and hugs



Zach and Rashel Wilson

July 23, 2020 at 7:42 am

Mike, thank you for being a wonderful friend to Rashel & I. You were always so caring! Thank you for sticking your back out for me so many times over and over again! You surely will be missed my friend. Fly high, enjoy time with your wife, and go rip up some dunes on a rail buddy! I will miss you my friend


Marlin Brower

July 23, 2020 at 7:58 am

I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Mike for the last 10 years or so. Mike was a “Rock Star” when it came to his work ethics and caring for others. There is no doubt that Mike’s heart was twice as big as he was! He set a great example for us all in many ways. I’m certainly going to miss this great friend and coworker. I’ll never forget his smile, and his hard working and fun loving attitude! Praise God he is now with Cindy and they can watch over the family from Heaven. My thoughts and many prayers are going out to Mike’s entire family. Rest in peace Mike!


Patti Bent Nienhuis

July 23, 2020 at 8:45 am

Sue and Stef –

Geez, what do I say? I never knew Mike as an adult. We as families spent numerous weeks and weekends together camping. A Christmas in Florida camping. We had such great times! I’m very sorry to hear of Mikes accident, what a tragic thing. You and the family will be in my thoughts. Love to you all.

Patti Bent Nienhuis


Tami Webb

July 23, 2020 at 9:28 am

My heart is heavy when I think of the depth of your loss. I will be praying peace and grace for your family as you walk through this difficult season.


Nicole E Gardiner

July 23, 2020 at 9:36 am

I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I only knew Mike for a short time while he worked at VanDyken, but I quickly learned he was a great man and friend. Our other coworkers only have wonderful things to say about him and the kind of person he was. He will be missed here like is is at home. We are all praying for comfort and peace for your family.


Kelley Mehler

July 23, 2020 at 10:18 am

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is as gentle as real strength”

~Saint Francis de Sales

Mike embodied this quote in the way he lived his life; full of empathy and compassion for others. Our lives were touched by his kindness and we are grateful to be able to call him our friend.

With heartfelt sympathies ~

Mike & Kelley Mehler


Kathi Fuss

July 23, 2020 at 11:53 am

So sorry to read of Mike’s passing!! My thoughts are with you all!! Remember the good times! Love to you all!!



July 23, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Mike was a former coworker of mine. He and I talked quite a bit when we saw each other. He was a very passionate man who cared deeply about his children and grandchildren. He had the heart of gold and all who knew him knew he did not slow down. Mike will be missed greatly by all who knew him.


Jan Willard

July 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm


Steph an family

My deepest condolences, may God give peace to you an yor family at this difficult time.


Donna Howe

July 23, 2020 at 2:10 pm

Sue and Stef,

So sorry to hear of mikes passing. He was a great guy and I will always remember the fun we had when we worked together at Burger Chef.


Jackie, Emily, Eric & Evan Stack

July 23, 2020 at 2:49 pm

Sue, Rick, Steph, Mack, Rachelle, Matt & Families,

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. So very sorry to hear about Mike. He was one of the “good guys.” His zest for life was contagious, and he always took care of his family. I will never forget how much he cared for Cindy and how he was ALWAYS there for her. I have fond memories of our great times we shared together with all of the gang. He is flying high with the angels and reunited with Cindy. Rest in peace, my dear friend. You will be missed!


Lori McKeown

July 23, 2020 at 7:15 pm

RIP Mike…thanks for coming to see me in Otsego when I came home to visit. Say hi to all our friends.


Carolyn Bieber

July 23, 2020 at 10:31 pm

Mike was a friend and former coworker of mine. I learned allot about HVAC from him, as well as what great customer service really is. Mike always put everyone before himself. There were days he made me mad as a hornet, only to walk in the office later with that big, shit eaten grin on his face. Melt me like butter. I have only met his children, grandchildren, and sisters through his stories. Mike shared his love for all of you daily, you were truly loved. May God hold you all in the palm of his hand and give you peace.


Roger&Sue Sutton

July 23, 2020 at 11:43 pm

So sorry for your loss, the last time we saw Mike he was with his daughter, they were just leaving Cranes apple farm when we ran into them and Mike said to me have you ever been here before. This place rocks and I laughed after I saw his daughter roll her eyes at him , and it reminded me of me and my daughter of all the silly things I have said , That moment made a lasting impression on me ,and I haven’t forgotten it .RIP Mike


Jeff & Mary Powers

July 24, 2020 at 7:04 am

Stef, Sue and family

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Oh Mike, thanks for all the smiles and cheer you brought us. Peace be with you my friend.


Lisa R Sutton

July 25, 2020 at 5:09 pm

Although I haven’t seen you in years, I will always remember your smile , laugh and that long straight hair. You were good friends with my high school boyfriend and we hung out many times. All the girls were crushing on you. So long ago but seems like last month. Gone too soon.RIP


Amanda R Anderson

July 25, 2020 at 5:54 pm

We are so sorry for the loss of Mike. He was such a great father and grandfather. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very tough time. We find peace in the knowledge that Mike is with God. We will miss you cousin and will never forget the beautiful time we had with you in Florida and Michigan. We love you all so much! Amanda and Elizabeth Anderson.


Christopher Betts

July 26, 2020 at 12:45 am

Mike you always had kind words. Your smile was one of great magnitude. It seems you enjoyed life on all levels. From me to you, thank you for making us feel welcome in your presents. It’s a gift all the good ones have. Those closest to you will always smile when talking about your journey. Fly high my friend. Chris Betts


Jim Lakin

July 26, 2020 at 10:36 am

Mike became a good friend over the years, I switched to different services companies two time because I wanted Mike to do my service work. We had good conversations about life, family and work. I will miss him!

I am so sorry for your lose.

Blessings on your family as you remember and celebrate his life.

May God grant you his peace as you walk through this time of grief.


Diane Belden

July 28, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Stef and Susie and family:

So sorry for the sudden loss of your brother .

We only hope the fond memories will get you through this tough time.

We’re thinking of you all.

Diane and Steve Belden


Sheila (Christopher) Baker

August 8, 2020 at 2:10 am

Rest in Peace Mike. It’s been years since we have seen each other in school. Sending prayers to his family .


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