PRESTONSBURG — Former Prestonsburg Mayor and councilman Harold Ward Cooley died this week, at his home, following a battle with cancer.
Cooley, 70, was born in Paintsville in 1941 the son of William Ward and Leona Gott Cooley. Before long, he would eventually open several of his own businesses in Prestonsburg — Cooley Apothecary, CME IV and Cooley Medical Equipment.
He provided the region with a long life of service to the community beginning with his service on the Prestonsburg City Council. In 1974 he became mayor and remained in office until 1984.
“He was always there trying to meet everyone’s need,” said Mayor Jerry Fannin. “He was very accommodating.”
Fannin said that Cooley was both a good businessman and a good mayor for Prestonsburg.
“He was a very helpful, top-of-the-line person.”
Cooley also served as a preceptor and community-based faculty member of the University of Kentucky School of Pharmacy from 1992 until his death. He was the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the year in 1995 and was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia Community Service Award community pharmacist of the year from the Kentucky Pharmacists’ Association in 2004.
“Harold Cooley was very generous in supporting special events here in town,” said Floyd County Tourism Director Fred James, who added that Cooley had lent his support to such events as the Festival of FACES and the Kentucky Highland Folk Festival.
During his lifetime, Cooley served as a board member or in leadership role for the Jenny Wiley Theatre, Kentucky League of Cities, the Floyd County Board of Health, the Big Sandy Area Development District, the American Pharmacy Services Corporation, serving on the Board of directors from 1997 to 2006 and as president from 2006 to 2011, and the Kentucky Retail Federation, during which he served on the Board of Directors from 2001 to 2010. Mr. Cooley also worked as a pharmacy consultant for the Floyd County Detention Center and Hospice of Big Sandy. He also earned his pharmacy license in the state of Tennessee at the age of 64.
In addition to his wife, Nora (Tish) Clark, he is survived by three daughters, Laura Cooley, of Pikeville, Susan C. Greene (Pete), of Prestonsburg, and Christa L. Pollock (Robert), of Lexington; a sister, Winnifred Akers (Melvin), of West Chester, Ohio; and grandchildren Tate Greene, Owen Greene, Mason Pollock, Maxwell Pollock and Cady Cooley.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, William T. Cooley.
Funeral services for Harold W. Cooley were held Tuesday, Aug. 21, in the Hall Funeral Home Chapel, in Martin, with Dr. James Adams officiating.