Joan Cooley

September 17, 1930 ~ September 28, 2019 (age 89)


Joan Stumpf Cooley

“Mom” to Jenna Cooley (Peter Gendel), B.Todd Cooley, and John W. Cooley (Mari Boyd). “Gammy” to Jordan Goldblum, Joshua Traina and Ian Cooley, Robin and Bonnie Goldblum. Beloved former mother in law to Jeannie Cooley and Charlene Cooley. “Cuz” to Jerry Danley.

Joan was a uniquely funny, smart, intuitive, and kind Southern lady whose life was dedicated to raising her family and to both educating and inspiring young children. Her degree in early childhood education from the University of Tennessee led to her participation in the country’s first of its kind program named “Head Start”. From there Joan worked for many years as a therapeutic teacher at the Therapeutic Nursery at the Dept. of Child Psychiatry of LSU. Joan was instrumental in developing new methods and techniques to educate, and communicate, with Autistic and uniquely challenged young children and their families.

Joan eventually retired from the New Orleans public school system having taught, protected and nurtured hundreds of New Orleans most under served pre-schoolers. She truly gave many of the most vulnerable in the city a “head start”.

Born in Northern Alabama and raised in Chattanooga, TN. Joan spent summers in New Orleans with her parents Rubye and O. Rantz Stumpf. Her love of the city led her to move to the French Quarter in 1954 where she met and married artist Jack Cooley. They raised their three children together and remained dear friends.

Joan’s family, friends and relatives were treated to the wit and wisdom of her stories, told with a twinkle in her bright blue eyes, and always with a surprise ending. Joan loved to be with her kids and grandkids. She loved to be with her grand dogs. She loved to laugh. She loved to dance. She loved a good joke. She loved sweets. She loved the beauty of her adopted city.

She was wonderful.

There will be a service honoring Joan Cooley on Monday, Oct 28, in the chapel of St Charles Presbyterian Church at 3:00 pm, with visitation beginning at 2:00 pm. Arrangements were entrusted to JACOB SCHOEN & SON FUNERAL HOME, 3827 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119. Condolences may be expressed at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan Cooley, please visit our floral store.


October 28, 2019

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church
1545 State Street @ St. Charles Avenue
, 70118

October 28, 2019

3:00 PM
St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church
1545 State Street @ St. Charles Avenue
, 70118


Hope Mausoleum
4841 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119

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