POLAND, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Jean (Nikoloff) (Landry) Cooksey, 91 years 3.9 months, went to Heaven in Jesus’ arms Monday, March 26, 2023 following a short tenacious battle with cancer.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, April 12, at 7:00 p.m., immediately following visitation, at the Clemente Funeral Home in Struthers.

She was born to Sue (Yope) and Raymond Nikoloff on October 31, 1931, in Struthers, the youngest of six children. Life’s greatest lesson impressed upon her was that family helped family always, not from any sense of obligation but rather familial love. This guided Jean her actions throughout her life entire.

She and her first husband, Albert Landry, a French Canadian naval veteran, married in 1954 had two children during their marriage, Raymond J. of Struthers/Poland and Karen S. of Columbus/Struthers.

She served as the PTA President for two years in Struthers, held an assistant manager position at the Struthers JibJab restaurant and was a hostess for L&K Restaurants, just before she began her 19 year tenure for the State of Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation as counselor secretary.

In 1973, she and her husband Al amicably divorced.

That year she also met her soulmate and soon to be husband, Stanley Cooksey, senior machinist and union mediator at Wean United. They eloped and married on July 3, 1974 and went on to share 43 years of travel, dining with friends, card club, bowling, the Canfield Fair, casinoing, harness horse ownership and racing, family and holiday get togethers, cheering on Cleveland sports teams, as well as enjoying time with friends at Struthers VFW Post 3538.

Jean liked to exercise, was a member of Jeanie Patton’s original aerobics classes, attended the YMCA for yoga and walked her way through and around the entire Southern Park Mall with her casino friends and son.

She was also an active member/participant/supporter of St. Nicholas/Christ Our Savior parish for many years until her physical decline.

 She loved tuning into “Real Time” with Bill Maher, Law & Order, SVU, Seinfeld and Criminal Minds (she LOVED Mandy Patinkin) but the single entity that defined her persona was her undying affair with country music. It spoke to her soul like a sirens song and would remain her great love till her death. How fortunate she had been to have attended concerts for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and George Jones.

Jean was painfully aware of the many gross injustices in our world and country, more specifically the ongoing mistreatment of our own indigenous Native Americans. They were recipients of her concern and charity, as were many other organizations aimed at relieving the suffering of underprivileged, marginalized and maltreated individuals, both human and animal.

She was a fair and patient mother, who bore her burdens without complaint, who sacrificed to ensure that her family’s needs and wellbeing were met. She managed with humor, even directed at herself, demonstrating genuine humility, and she had a tremendous capacity for forgiving, acceptance and making the best of all that came her way, driven by familial bonds and love. She passed that onto everyone she met.

She grieved every person lost to age and time. She was preceded in death by her dad (1958); mom (1985); brothers, Nick (1989), George (1992) and Joe (2011); sisters, Marie (2013) and Florence (2018), along with her friends, Doris Bindel (2019), Millie Lisko (2020) and Dorothy (Allar) Anzevino (2022).

She is survived by her son, Raymond; her daughter, Karen; her niece, Joann Burgmyer and her children, Michael, Paul, Christina and Nicole; her nephew, Joseph Burgmyer, Jr., his wife, Lois and son, Ian.

There can be no more fitting epitaph for this wife, mother and friend than 2 Timothy, 4:7: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

Visitation will be held Wednesday, April 12, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Clemente Funeral Home, 700 Fifth Street, Struthers, OH 44471.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Jean’s name go to the Southwest Reservation Aid, 16415 Addison Road, Suite 200, Addison, TX 75001-3210.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean (Nikoloff) Cooksey, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Sunday, April 9 at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX. Video will be posted here the day of airing.