Stephen “Alex” Cooley, Scottsdale, AZ age 75, passed away on November 27, 2021 at Mayo Hospital surrounded by his wife and two daughters. Alex was born August 28, 1946 to Albert and Margaret Cooley in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Alex was educated at West Elementary, Valley Junior High School and graduated from Central High School in 1964. He went on to the University of North Dakota where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1969. Alex loved all sports and was an exceptional basketball, baseball, track, football, fast-pitch softball, golf, and racquetball player. He was an All-State basketball player for Central High School in 1964.
While at UND he was a three-sport letterwinner – track 1965; basketball 1966; baseball 1966-67-68. In baseball Alex gained all-conference acclaim in 1967-1968, and played three seasons in the Oakland A’s organization after leaving UND. He also won a number of National and State Racquetball championships, and several State Fastpitch Softball championships. Alex was included in the Grand Forks Herald’s list of the 50 greatest athletes from Grand Forks/East Grand Forks and was inducted into the Grand Forks Central Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, the University of North Dakota Hall of Fame in 1992, and the North Dakota Softball Hall of Fame in 1993. He served in the Army Reserves for 20 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After graduating from UND, Alex began his career as a Mechanical Engineer working for the Bureau of Mines (EEOC) in Grand Forks for 11 years. He left Grand Forks and moved to Tempe, AZ in 1981 and worked for the Central Arizona Project and retired after 30 years.
Alex and Jane were introduced to one another by Jane’s brother Dan (Boonie) Bogan. Alex always said it was love at first sight, and they were married on August 2, 1986.
He will be forever remembered as a loving, unselfish, kind, humble and humorous man. He loved life and enjoyed everything it had to offer. He will be greatly missed by many.
Alex is survived by his wife Jane, and two daughters Margaret (Joey) Walker of Abilene, TX, and Alexandra Cooley of Brentwood, CA, brother Marvin Cooley (Bev) of Grand Forks, ND, two grandchildren, four great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Alex was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Margaret Cooley, in-laws Louie and Helen Bogan and brother-in-law Dan Bogan.
Services will be held at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church (10755 N 124th Street, Scottsdale, AZ) on January 14th, 2022 at 11:00 am.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Holy Family Church (1018 18th Ave. S., Grand Forks, ND) on August 6th, 2022 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alex Cooley/Bogan Holy Family-St. Mary’s Catholic School Scholarship Fund in Grand Forks, North Dakota.