Minnie Louise Cooley was a caring mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, aunt, and friend. After a long bout with declining health, she left this world on September 21, 2023, at the age of 89 years old.
Minnie was born in Sumrall, Mississippi, to Nina Mae Lott and Vernie Watts on March 11, 1934. When she was born, the doctor did not expect for her to live long. He said that he wouldn’t give a “plug nickel” for her to live past a year. The family moved to Seminary, Mississippi, where she was raised. Through her mother, Minnie had two siblings Catherine Fraley (preceded in death) and Lt. Col. Claude L. Lott (Janette). And, through her father she had two brothers Bobby and Vernie Watts, Jr.
She attended school in Seminary until the 8th grade. Due to segregation, she was unable to go any further than the 8th grade in Seminary. She then moved to Hattisburg, Mississippi, to live with her aunt and uncle where she attended Eureka High School to further her education. In 1951, Minnie wed John Adams Cooley. And from that union she had three children. She went on to have a total of six boys and three girls in which five of her sons preceded her in death – Jeffery, Michael, Ray, Joey and Robert – and of these 5 only Ray had children. She was widowed from John in September, 1987.
In 1965, Minnie left Mississippi and moved her children to Cincinnati, Ohio, for a chance at a better life. She worked numerous jobs while caring for her 9 children. She worked hard to acquire her GED and she was finally able to secure a good job at Drake Hospital. Minnie retired from Drake Hospital after working there for over 25 years. Because her oldest son was a special needs child, she always had a desire to help other children that also had special needs. Once she retired, she worked part time as a Driver’s Assistant helping special needs children with their bus transport.
After she was settled in Cincinnati, she joined First New Shiloh Baptist Church under the late Rev. Michael J. Mangrum. She was a very skilled seamstress and taught all three of her daughters to sew plus one of her sons. She would often make extra money by making clothes, doing alterations, making large Raggedy Ann dolls and other items to sell.
She was a Brownie troop leader and a Girl Scout troop leader. She liked to take her children on various outings. She loved to travel visiting many states across this country and traveling abroad to Canada, Holland, Germany and surrounding countries. She anxiously waited for the next Lott Family Reunion event so that she could reconnect with her siblings, her cousins and other family members.
In 1981, Minnie was invited to visit Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple under the late Bishop Paul Bowers. She joined, got baptized in Jesus’ Name and was an active member until her death. She was a member of the Greater Emanuel Marvelous Mothers. She loved Greater Emanuel and was a member for over 40 years.
Minnie leaves to mourn her passing her remaining children Dan, Joyce, Teresa Broomfield (Wallace), and Nina. Ray (deceased) has two daughters Nichole Allen and Kayla McGee (Joseph); Dan has LaTasha, Antwan, Robert, Charles, Renee, Nancy, and Carmen; Joyce has Ebony Young (Donald); Teresa has Raymond (Latoya), Carlita, and Laura; and, Nina Starkey has Michael, Candace, Jeffrey, Praise, Vision (predeceased), Blessed, and William, Jr. Minnie’s grandchildren has blessed her with over 60 great, great-great, and great-great-great grandchildren. She also leaves her loving brother Lt. Col. Claude Lott, her loving sister-in-love Janette Lott, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins to mourn her.