Elva Mae Koorey
Elva Mae Koorey
July 6, 1948 - December 23, 2016
after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. A bona fide California Girl, she was born Elva Mae Cookson in San Luis Obispo and spent her youth in her home town of Arroyo Grande, the youngest of three siblings. Daughter to Dr. Howard Cookson (who sadly also died of pancreatic cancer while she was in her early teens) and Ruth Diggins Cookson, who lived to the impressive age of 96 after a long rewarding life as wife/mother, professional nurse and philanthropist.
She led a very fulfilling life that began with educational opportunities in Napa/St Helena, Ca, England and in Switzerland. She also trained for and pursued careers in dental hygiene and medical insurance administration working for a variety of doctors and dentists all around the country.
She met Alfred (Fred) Koorey in Santa Barbara in 1969 while both were students and married in Montecito in 1970. Elva totally enjoyed travel and adventure and enthusiastically supported her husband through college completion and a 20+ year naval career that included eight relocations before settling down back in her home state of California. She was a dedicated “seagull,” admired by Fred’s squadron mates for frequently following the ships they were deployed on to ports around the world, bringing news and care packages from the wives and families of shipmates.
Coronado has continuously been her home town since 1981, interrupted only by an exciting four year break to live in and enjoy Naples, Italy and Washington, DC. Many folks around town had known Elva for her love of cats and her favorite sport: distance running (5K and 10K races and hashes). It was a rare day when neighbors didn’t see her circling the island, rain or shine, with a pocket full of kitty treats. She cherished her home and neighbors, plus the many close life-long friendships she made while world traveling.
Perhaps her most impressive legacy is the extraordinary number young people from around the world whose lives benefited from her selfless mothering. Even before the nest was empty, she boarded and passionately mentored over 50 foreign language exchange students from the Far East, South America, and Europe. She dedicated over two decades to providing them all a rich family and cultural experience. Many have kept in touch, inviting her to their weddings and calling her their American Mom.
Elva is survived by her husband of 46+ years, Fred; her son, Andrew and his family which include loving partner Darcy, and her daughter, Josephine, plus her recently born (May 2016) grandchild, Aaron. She is also survived by brother, John Cookson, and her sister/closest friend, Cynthia Edwards.
Services for Elva Mae Koorey
- January 16, 2017
An open memorial service will be held at the Miramar National Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, followed by a reception at her home of 35 years in Coronado.