Carolyn Jean Cooley

October 17, 1946 - May 31, 2022

Carolyn Jean Cooley/McCafferty, 75, a resident of North Fort Myers, FL for about 25 years, formerly of Kyger, OH, passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2022 in Fort Myers, FL.

Carolyn Jean was an amazing little country girl; born at home in Kyger, Ohio on October 17th 1946 to Wayne F. Sisson and Anabelle K. Sisson (formerly Anabelle K. Rupe).  She was of the Christian faith and lived true to those beliefs.  Carolyn is survived by her loving fiancée, Michael McCafferty; former husband, Robert Hart; siblings, Linda Bradbury, and Robert Sisson.  She was preceded in death by her brother Richard Sisson and husband Richard Cooley.

Carolyn loved the woods and animals of all sorts, especially puppies and ponies.  Her father got her a horse which she rode on the trails of Ohio.  We took many a hike along trails while in New Jersey; not to mention zip lining in Costa Rica, Helicopter flights to the glaciers in Alaska, watching the Northern lights in Iceland and our 10,000 mile road trip across the  U.S visiting most of the prominent national parks.

And of course on our trips back to Ohio, especially for mushroom hunting in April; she loved those mushroom safaris which we did with a number of her extended family members.  I could find only one mushroom in many attempts.

Carolyn’s had a number of little white “doggies” throughout her life (Tyler, Cooper, others and of course Bentley). Bentley still checks to see where Carolyn is each time I return home from any errands or shopping and such. He greets me and then waits by the door for Carolyn to follow. Ole Bentley always wanted to stay close to her, but of course so did I. He would especially like to wrangle his way into bed and cuddle up. Gotta say that at times I was displaced, but that’s OK. 

Carolyn was as adventurous as they come, at home at a campsite in the mountains or on a blanket at the beach; whether standing on the corner in Winslow, AZ or at the corner of four states, she was my loving, spunky, funny travel partner both along the highways and in life. God I’ll miss her.

Carolyn didn’t choose to further pursue academics although she certainly could have.  She never really mentioned it much but she was a National Honor Society member in high school.  She could work with her hands too and not afraid to get a little dirty or opposed to some pick and shovel work as anyone who’s familiar with the cabin back there in Ohio would know and as I know from her work with me doing a bunch of carpentry projects here in N. Ft, Myers.  My helper always.

Carolyn was a devoted Ohio State Buckeye fan, and I do mean devoted. You can bet you’d find us sitting in front of the TV every Saturday during football season rooting the Buckeyes on. Even when we were away from home we’d have to find a TV somewhere whenever there was an Ohio State game televised. And you better believe that she knew all about any NFL players who happen to have an Ohio State pedigree. Football season will never be the same; not sure I’m going to do much watching from now on.

Like many of her time, Carolyn adored Elvis Presley. She’s kept quite a few news paper clippings covering various events in his life and of course had her share of Elvis CD’s.

Carolyn had a remarkably serene but indomitable spirit. When first diagnosed with cancer she accepted her surgery almost routinely, started her chemo treatments and simply resumed life. I remember seeing her right after her surgery, she was wide awake and alert in her hospital bed. When I asked her how she felt she was more concerned with how I felt. I remember her telling me, “I hope all this doesn’t worry you Hon”.  That’s my Carolyn.

Carolyn Jean, just saying or thinking her name one can feel a little bit of the love and warmth that her actual presence would evoke. And now that her physical presence can no longer be, everything seems diminished. I’m not the only one who’s gonna miss my “Kyger Girl”, everyone she touched will feel the loss. Every time I look around and see something, anything, it’ll remind me of her. It doesn’t take a picture or anything like that, a nick-knack, or a pair of shoes, or a sweater, they all kinda “rub it in” that I don’t have her anymore. It’s not fair. I know that others have suffered the loss of loved ones, I’ve suffered such losses in earlier life too, but this time it’s different, very different. I know about relationships, I’ve had my share, but none like what I had with Carolyn. She was the love of my life, I’m not sure I ever knew what that meant before Carolyn, but I’m sure now, and now I’ve lost her.

The most unfair part of Carolyn’s passing at this time is that we had planned to be married this August. The first cancer-initiated stroke she suffered March 28th certainly forced us to rethink our wedding date. After that first stroke Carolyn was fully aware of everything but she did spent about five and a half weeks in the hospital. She was so fed up with being there that when ever a nurse would ask her if they could get her something she would always say “yes, get me out of here”. So when time for rehab came they decided that she could best be rehab’d at home.  The physical, and speech therapists came about twice a week and she made terrific progress. Still, she must have known something because she moved the wedding date to November 5th saying that she thought that her speech would be more thoroughly recovered by then. We bought our wedding rings around May 10th . Then the second stroke happened May 22nd .  Unlike the first one she was unresponsive and never fully recovered. Inside I knew our future was going to be too short for our planned wedding to happen.  On May 30th one nurse told me to prepare for the end. My ring was still at the jewelers being re-sized; I went straight to the jewelers, got it, went home and got Carolyn’s, and returned to the hospital. On May 30th at 2:22 PM I put my ring on my finger and Carolyn’s on her’s and told her with this ring I thee wed. She murmured OK OK OK OK, then I told her; we’re now husband and wife. She passed away about 24 hours later, Tuesday, May 31 at 2:25 PM.

Carolyn and I met later in life so we each spent most of our lives without the other. Still, the years we had, though much fewer than I would have asked for, were very very happy love filled years that might just have made up for all the other time together we could have had.  As for or me, almost no amount of time with her would have been enough.

For all of her gifts and qualities her ability to love, and love unconditionally was paramount. Those of us who came to know that love also know the pain of its loss. I dunno, maybe a poet or a playwright could somehow capture what being with her and then losing her means, I can’t. I told her I’d love her forever, and I will. I’ll miss her profoundly and deeply until maybe we’re together again someway somehow in the reaches of the cosmos. 

For now, goodbye my beloved “Carolyn Jean McCafferty”, I love you.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Details to be announced via www.MullinsMemorial.com.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.

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  1. Charlotte McCafferty Jun 6, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    What a lovely tribute to a lovely lady. So sorry we didn’t have more time together.

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