Commercial-News, Penny Saver, & Sturgis Sentinel Obituaries

Obituary: Rena Denise Cooley

Rena Denise Cooley (60) nee Hartman went home to meet her Savior Wednesday, April 5, 2023. She was the cherished daughter of Barbara (William) Barnell and Robert Hartman, who preceded her in death. Rena was born in Sturgis, MI on December 24, 1962 and graduated in 1980 from Sturgis Christian School, where she excelled in mathematics and enjoyed playing volleyball on the school team. She met her loving husband, Bruce Cooley, while working at The Chicken Coop Restaurant. They liked to say that Bruce started as Rena’s manager, but she soon became his manager when they married a couple years later in 1983.
Bruce and Rena started their family in southern Michigan before moving to central Illinois in 1995. Rena was a devoted mother to her four children. They fondly remember her lasagna and playing croquet on the lawn with her on cool summer evenings. In addition to being a homemaker, Rena worked as a florist at Casey’s Garden Shop as well as a clerk at Naturally Yours health food store in Bloomington-Normal, IL.
In the summer of 2014, the Cooleys settled in Crawfordville, FL, where Rena became a dedicated member of River of Life Church. She cherished her personal relationship with God all her life and faithfully sought to reflect God’s love and truth in her every word and deed.
Rena loved to draw as a child, and she grew into a talented watercolorist as an adult. Her deep appreciation of God’s creation was evident in the beautiful hand-painted cards she shared with family and friends as well as her love of gardening, flower arranging, and nature walks. Rena especially loved to walk the beach with Bruce and her children at Alligator Point along the gulf shore.
Rena is survived by her husband Bruce Cooley, her children Kevin (Elaina) Cooley, Kayla (Taylor) Cooley-Wood, Kyle Cooley, and Karl Cooley, and siblings Brad (Gail) Hartman, Timothy Hartman, Darrel (Cherie) Hartman, Lowell (Kisha) Hartman, and Heather (Patrick) Smith. A memorial service will be held on April 15, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Family Funeral Home, Harvey-Young Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Skip and Trey Young along with Paula and Kimberly are assisting the family with arrangements. 850-926-5919,

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