Cooke, Veva Ozley (Mrs. R. Leonard)


Veva L. Ozley was born in Bienville Parish, near Arcadia, on May 23, 1907. She received her college education at Centenary College and at Louisiana Tech. In 1932 she was married to John DeWitt Caruthers and they established their home in Shreveport. To them were born two sons: John D. Jr., and Robert Mack. Her husband died in 1961. She made her place in Shreveport, giving her time in service to many agencies of the community. She was president of the YWCA Board for twelve years, during which time she directed the fund-raising efforts to build the present Allendale YWCA. Her services included working with the United Way, The Goodwill Industries Board and the Business Girls’ Inn. She helped to bring and to establish the American Rose Center in Shreveport. Noel Memorial United Methodist Church was blessed in having the Caruthers family as members. Veva was the Superintendent of the Children’s Division for over twenty-five years. She also served on the Administrative Board, the Board of Trustees, the Library Board, the Council on Ministries, the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, the Building Committee and the United Methodist Women. She helped to establish the Noel Neighborhood Ministries. Some of her greatest joys came to her as she served her Lord in the Methodist Church and the Church never had a more loyal member.
On July 10, 1975, Veva married Dr. R. Leonard Cooke. This was several years before Leonard retired from the active ministry of the United Methodist Church. He was the Conference Treasurer with much responsibility. Veva fit right into this active church life. She had worked with many preachers throughout her life. Now she was married to one and was experiencing a new role of service to her Lord. She and Leonard enjoyed traveling to General and Jurisdictional Church meetings as well as across the Louisiana Conference. Since she had always been involved in church life, she seemed to be interested in everything happening in the church around the world. She was a great preacher’s wife.
Veva made her place in the Cooke family in a very short time. During the last few years of her life she was very sick and confined, but those of us who knew and loved her remember that she was a real person with much compassion, who was always loyal to her Lord and her Church. She was warm and friendly and very unselfish. Our lives have been blessed beyond measure because she lived and came our way.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1990; p. 221…………….By Jack Cooke

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