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Onie Irwin Cooley
December 17, 1955 - August 31, 2017

Onie Irwin Cooley went to be with the Lord on August 31, 2017 in Mill City, OR due to complications of diabetes and heart failure.  Onie is preceded in death by his father Elton U. Cooley in July, 2000 and his mother Lorene J. Cooley in December, 2016. He is survived by his sisters, Roxanna Cooley-Taylor, Alice Cooley-Barghini and brother Elton D. Cooley.  His aunt and uncle, Daryl and Joann Cooley of El Paso, Nephews: David J. Lawyer and family, Scott Cooley and family, and Brian Dryden and family, Nieces:  Faith Wescott and family, Jesica Lawyer and family, Brittany Cooley-Willis, Tracie Cooley-Britton and family and Ellie Cooley.  Onie also leaves behind two stepchildren from a previous marriage, Amy and Michael.

Onie graduated from Parkland High School in El Paso in 1974.  He played football (#70) for the “Mighty Matadors”. He won various medals throwing the shot put and discus in track.  He was a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan.  Everyone, family or friends, knew his #1 rule: when “the boys” were playing no one could call him unless it was half-time!

Onie stood 6’6” towering above most people and a lot of his schoolmates, who describe him as a “gentle giant with a big heart”. When Onie wasn’t hunting and fishing with his friends and family, he was restoring cars with his dad.  He had a passion for cars, especially for 60s & 70s muscle cars,  He had a 1977 GMC Sierra pickup truck that he fully restored and used as his daily driver. He won awards with his truck.  He was a knowledgeable and skilled mechanic.

Onie was a General Retail Manager for different organizations for over 30 years.  He relocated to various parts of the country for his job to include South Carolina, different parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Idaho and Oregon.  He returned to El Paso in 2006 and stayed for 7 years until he returned to Oregon to help care for his mother until her passing.

Onie leaves behind his little dog Nugget who was his constant companion for the last 7 years.  Nugget was a rescue Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix from the El Paso Animal Shelter who stole Onie’s heart at first sight and soon became the center of his world.  Seeing Onie walk Nugget daily was something to see, Onie used a 6’ leash for his little dog so the two of them made quite a picture along Northeast El Paso streets.

Onie was a wonderful brother, a loving son, a caring uncle and a great friend to many.  He will be sorely missed.

Donations can be made in Onie’s memory to the Diabetes Foundation  ( or online to the Humane Society of El Paso (

‘Death leaves heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal’

Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.

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