Cover photo for Gary Dean Cooley's Obituary
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Gary Dean Cooley

February 12, 1949 — July 25, 2021

Gary Dean Cooley


Gary Dean Cooley, 72, of Hays, KS died Sunday, July 25, 2021 at HaysMed - Hays. Gary was born February 12, 1949 in Great Bend, KS to Dean Elmer and Georgia Mae (Schwab) Cooley and was a graduate of LaCrosse High School. In 1981 he married Connie Rose in Boulder, CO and would have celebrated 40 years of marriage this August 1.

Gary was a lifelong musician, a member of the Kansas Music Hall of Fame, and a co-founder of The Home Cookin' Band with his sweetheart, Connie. They could be found performing at weddings and single's dances all over western Kansas. Another passion of Gary's was photography, as well as spending time with his grandchildren, cheering on the KU Jayhawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Royals.

Gary is survived by his wife: Connie of Hays, KS; sons: Brandon (Sarah) of Hays, KS; Gabriel (Christine) of Sonoma, CA; three grandchildren; and a sister: Fran Payne of Mississippi. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial services will be Friday, August 6, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 2509 Vine Street Hays, KS 67601 with Pastor Steve Schulze officiating. Inurnment will follow the services in the Fort Hays Memorial Gardens - Hays.

Memorials are suggested to the ARC Park Baseball Field via

Services in care of Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 2509 Vine Street Hays, KS 67601.

Condolences may be left by guest book at or by email at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Dean Cooley, please visit our flower store.


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