WASHINGTON, NEW JERSEY — Roger Cooley, 78, of Washington, New Jersey died on Friday, February 8, 2019 following an 11-year battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 11am at Lower Valley Presbyterian Church in Califon. Interment will take place at Clove Cemetery in Wantage, NJ at a later date. Roger and his wife, Anne Rich Cooley, resided in Lebanon Township for 51 years before moving to Washington, NJ.

Roger was born in Superior, Wisconsin, on September 18, 1940. His family settled in Indianapolis, Indiana following the war in 1945. He was passionate about music and sports. After two years at Broad Ripple High School, his family moved to Ada. Roger starred in basketball at Ada High School and also distinguished himself in state voice competitions.

Roger attended The College of Wooster, in Ohio, graduating in 1962. He played both basketball and tennis while continuing to study voice. He majored in economics and, subsequently, attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where he earned an MBA degree in 1964. He also served in the US Army Reserve from 1966-1972.

Roger had a distinguished business career with a number of companies; including Warner-Lambert, RCA, Canada Dry, AT&T, and Crayola. During his 14 years at Crayola (1986-2000) he was VP of the Art Products Division, VP International, and VP Product Technology & Development. He served on the board of Ruling Elders for the Lower Valley Presbyterian Church, where he was a member for 53 years, and served on the boards of multiple charities, trade associations and the arts. He was particularly proud of co-founding the Lebanon Township Athletic Association, where he also served 10 years as its first basketball commissioner. Roger was a bridge Life Master along with his wife.

Roger married his beloved college sweetheart, and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2015, taking his entire family on a family reunion cruise. He is survived by his wife Anne Rich and sons; David Edwin, Bradford Hale, Timothy Allan, and Andrew DeWitt. He also leaves a brother, Dexter Hale Cooley of Greenwood, Indiana, and three loving daughters-in-law; Diane Wiedman, Barbara Pinneke, Stephanie Douglas and, soon to be married, Meredith Benedict. His six grandchildren; Ethan, Owen, Sierra, Grant, Oliana, and Mei-Lien; were very close to their ‘grampa’ and will miss him dearly.

Roger was a staunch libertarian whose philosophy is best expressed by the words, “live and let live”. He believed in individual freedom which meant to him that each individual is responsible for his or her own life and the government should not interfere in the enjoyment of that life. He wrote an article entitled, “The Political Process”, which illustrated the corrupting nature of politics and the need for strict term limits in order to reduce the quest for power that is ingrained in our political system. Roger also wrote a self-published book on the basic principles of basketball. He wrote the book after seeing coaches ignoring the basic principles of the game and hoping that his children and grandchildren might benefit from his advice and experience on the hardwood. Roger lived a full and satisfying life, placing family above all, and making the world a better place by his example. He will be missed by all who knew him but leaves knowing that those who come after him will continue his legacy. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Lebanon Township Athletic Association (https://orgsites.sportsoffice.com/content.php?level_id=0&org_id=40&content_id=1019) or to the music fund at Lower Valley Presbyterian Church, 445 County Road 513, Califon, NJ 07830.

Arrangements by Scarponi-Bright Funeral Home in Lebanon, New Jersey.