On June 19th, 2019. Surrounded by his loving family, Dr Keith Charles Cogley D.V.M. received a first class one way ticket to heaven aboard "Angel Airlines." God was in desperate need for an experienced veterinarian that could care for all his creatures great and small. Dad passed away at home at his beloved Hawthorne Farm. Funeral services will be held on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Howard Street Christian Church in Colfax. Burial will follow at McKeever Cemetery. Visitation will take place on Monday, from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the church. Memorials may be directed to the Dr. Keith Cogley Memorial Fund and condolences may be left for the family at www.coburnfuneralhomes.com
Keith was born on the family farm north of Grinnell on July 6th 1936. He was the 9th of 13 children born to John and Clara Figland Cogley. Dad would say he was the toughest of all the children because he was born in 1936- the coldest and hottest summer we have ever had. In fact it was so hot that day that the family had to place him in the livestock water tank to keep him cool. It must have been fun growing up in that era. Everything was simpler. The family worked side by side on the farm everyday. On Saturday nights they would head to Grinnell to sell their eggs and cream. Grandpa and Grandma would then give their kids 25 cents each to see a picture show. They still had 15 cents left over to buy popcorn, candy, and a hamburger. When dad was growing up he had a dog named Ladd. Dad and Ladd were inseparable until a big bad badger got the best of Ladd one day. Dad also had a spotted horse named Flash that he trained to do all kinds of neat tricks.
During his formidable years of the farm a Veterinarian named Dr Woods would come to the farm to treat their animals. Dad thought a lot of Dr Woods and wanted to be a Veterinarian just like him. With so many chores to do he only was able to participate in one sport-Track. Dad made the best of this opportunity as his 4x1 mile relay team won the 1953 State championship for Grinnell High School. We did not know this until 5 years ago when a former teammate gave us a picture of the team. When we confronted him why he didn't tell us he said he didn't like to brag .Dad enrolled at I.S.U. in the fall of 1954 as a pre-vet major. 1956 turned out to be a very lucky year for dad. He got accepted into vet school and he met the love of his life at a dance in Deep River, Ia. Her name was Caroleen Lou Shifflet. (mom) Caroleen had a twin sister named Kathleen. Caroleen and Kathleen often played tricks on dad when they were courting, often pretending to be each other. Mom and Dad dated for 4 years and were married on Sept 6th 1959. In the spring of 1960 Dad received his DMV degree from ISU and in the fall of 1960 traveled to the little town of Colfax to start his practice with Dr L.H. Birchmier. They named the clinic The Colfax Veterinary Clinic. Dad often stated that he was very lucky to have a partner in his business with the qualities of Dr Birchmier. Dr. Birchmier and Dr. Cogley were also veterinarians at the Colfax Sale Barn. Boy oh boy some of the stories they told about the sale barn. Back in the 1960s Sales would usually last until after midnight. Steak night at the American Legion was also on Saturday nights and located directly north across the Skunk River from the Sale barn. Both Veterinarians told us the same story- We would be vaccinating cattle until the wee morning hours and we could smell that steak cooking at the legion but by the time we were done working the legion was closed. Dad still owned and operated the Colfax Veterinary Clinic and was the current Veterinarian at the Colfax Sale Barn when he passed away- a span of 59 years.
In 1965 mom and dad purchased a farm north of Colfax named "Hawthorne Farm" The Century farm was purchased from the family of C.C.Turner who built the farm after he served in the civil war. Mom and Dad worked together on this farm raising kids and crops and dreaming of their future like all parents and families do. Mom and us kids would go to church on Sundays, but Dad would often stay home to work on buildings or fences. In 1971 mom passed away after giving birth to their 8th child. Dad was left to raise 8 kids ages 1 month to 10 years old without his wife. How he did this and run his vet practice still amazes us to this day. Dad had lots of loving help from our aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends and house keepers. Lee Engelbart, Lavon Brelsford, Kathleen Wright, and Patty Kirwan. During our years of growing up on the farm we always had plenty of work to do. We never got into any trouble because we were so tired that we didn't want to go out at night. I can remember in August of 1977 our family had sweet corn to pick, square bales to bale, corn to detassle, cows to A.I. and livestock to show at the County Fair all in one week. Years later I asked Dad how we got all that done- he said "I do not have a clue." During this time he was also searching for a breed of cattle that he could develop on his farm. In the fall of 1971 Dad and three other Veterinarians Dr.Richard Shirbourn of Coon Rapids, Dr. Fred Wood of Osceola, and Dr. William Owen of Maxwell traveled to Osceola, IA to form the Iowa Limousin Association. He was a Charter member and former president from 1973- 1975. He still has his current herd of purebred Limousin Cattle that he has bred continuously for 48 years! He named his cattle operation Frontier Breeds Inc. In 1975 the Iowa Beef Expo was in the planning stages. In 1976 Dad accepted the job as Iowa Beef Expo Veterinarian and held that position until 2018. He loved that time of year in February when he could evaluate all the cattle that came to the Expo. In 2015 he was awarded "Friend of the Expo" award for his continued service- an award he really appreciated.
In the 1980s Dad became involved with the Colfax Mingo School board and became president and board member. Also during this time the farm crisis struck and dad would often go without material things to keep the farm a float. Interest rates were 18-22%. One time dad needed a pair of gloves (8.00) and had them at the checkout counter at Big Bear but put them back on the shelf. When I asked him why he didn't buy them he said the bank wasnt going to break him. He was very proud of the fact that he paid back every cent of interest and principle to the bank. In the late 1980s Dad became interested in the opening at Prairie Meadows. He worked as a Veterinarian at Prairie Meadows for many years and was the State Veterinarian at the race track for several years. After working at the race track he got the "fever" and started breeding some quarter horses for racing. He went down to Texas and bought a well-bred stud named 'Special Eye Appeal" a horse he was very proud of. He still has some descendants from this blood line at home on the farm. Dad was an avid reader and spent many hours a day reading all sorts of books from westerns to technical vet updates. He knew the meaning of every word in the dictionary. We didn't need a Webster Dictionary at home- We just asked Dad.
Dad taught us kids to always tell the truth, be kind to people, be humble and modest. When asked by a neighbor if he was proud of a certain son or daughter his response was "I am proud of them all." All of us kids feel very fortunate to have had parents like Mom and Dad. Dad loved his family, friends, and farm. He loved being a Veterinarian and was an active Veterinarian when he passed away. He loved treating all the creatures great and small. He particularly took great pride in his surgeries. I would watch in awe as he made surgeries look easy and routine. I said to him "how do you make that look so easy"- his response practice, practice, practice.
All of us kids would like to thank you for your caring thoughts, compassion, and kind words towards our father, He was our shining light, Our goal is make that light shine brighter as we carry on his legacy. Rest in peace dad, We love you.
Survivors include sons, Shawn Cogley of Colfax. Dr. Patrick (Jenniffer) Cogley of Grinnell. Brian (Angie) Cogley of Colfax; daughters Kelly Cogley of Mingo. Megan (Mel) Morrsisey of Valeria. Brenda (John) Probasco of Moulton. Marna (Brant) Fox of Mingo; brother Leroy Cogley of Green Valley AZ; sisters, Pat Lang of Grinnell. Joan Hopkinson of Milwaukee, WI. Marilyn Copeland of Jefferson
Grandchildren Jennifer (Doug) Engle, Brandon Cogley Mckenzie Cogley Austin Redman Josie Redman Kyle Cogley Catherine Cogley Andrew Cogley Colton Probasco Madison Probasco Dalton Probasco; numerous nieces and nephews; great grandchildren, Tucker Engle and Cody Engle
Proceeding him in death were his wife, Caroleen Lou Shifflet Cogley (1971); son, Colin (1993); parents, John and Clara Cogley; siblings, Avis, Barbara, Bernice, Betty, Allen Jim, Clarence, Eleanore.
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Dear Pat and Family,
I am sooo very sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. It is never easy to loose our parents. We lost our mom, almost 2yrs ago. She was 92.
Pat my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your dad was a very special man and Vet. May God comfort you and wrap his loving arms around
you!!! God bless you, Kelli Rogers
Megan I am so sorry for your loss. Your father was the best vet. All he did was take a quick look at my dog Gidget and knew without a doubt what the issue was to save her life. I was expecting to have to pay alot of money to find i think I may have paid 20. . I said to him are you sure I don't owe more. He said do you want to. It was one time I saw him laugh. A Big Man with a gentle soul. Fly high Doc. Never to be forgotten
I was so sorry to hear the passing of Doc Cogley. He was just a wonderful man, vet, father, etc. I would love it when he came to the farm to assist us with our animals! He was always so busy but always got everything done! Please know that our prayers are with you and your families at this time of loss.
Jeanette (Warnock) and Donnie Roam.
We remember Doc Cogley when we were 1st starting out in the purebred Simmental business & had a 1st calf heifer we had bought try to calve twins. We lived on the NE side of DM & not a vet in the area would attend to a large animal. In my attempt to find someone to help us out....I placed a call to the Colfax Vet Clinic & out came the most caring man. He didn't have the best conditions to work in but he saved that heifer despite not being able to save the calves. He left a huge impression on me anyway! He helped us over the years while we lived there both at home & at the Expo. When we moved to Warren Co in '91 I was so concerned about how we were going to get along with him as our vet! He was one of a kind. What an honor it was to have him as our vet & to know how he continued to care for animals up until his death. God got a special one to care for his animals when he called him home!
To the Cogley Family,
I was very sorry to hear of the loss of Dr. Cogley. My mother, LaVonne Behrens, thought very highly of him and loved working with and for him on the school board when she was board secretary. I actually worked for him at the vet clinic over a summer in HS and remember fondly his caring, dedication to his work, and dry wit. On occasion, I would go on calls to farms SW of Colfax with him when Dr. B was busy elsewhere. His driving was "fun" and one time said he said he was thinking of buying a helicopter & learn to fly it to make for quicker trips to their customers. As an aviation buff, I was all for it, although not sure I would have been a good passenger. Doc made a huge impression on me and was a role model. As an ISU alumnus and retired Naval aviator who is still in the business, I salute Dr. Cogley and know his memory and legacy will live on. Marla and I will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely, Chris and Marla Behrens, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD/Fuquay-Varina, NC
Dear Cogley Family,
You have our sincere sympathy on the loss of your special dad.
The very heartfelt obituary by his children let’s us know that we don’t need to hope you have good memories to treasure. We KNOW you have abundant treasures from having been reared by a father who loved you dearly.
Sincerely, Bill Frevert, classmate ‘60.
Your father was always incredibly welcoming and nice towards me when I visited the farm growing up. Looking back I have no idea how you, Shawn, would get your Dad to let me stay over night. With everything on his plate it is amazing what all he navigated in life. Some of my best memories of Colfax is time spent on the Cogley farm. Looking back, maybe some of the Cogley work ethic rubbed off on me from the time spent on your farm. You all worked hard and always wore a smile which is nothing short of amazing. He was an incredible man that I am sure will live on in all of you and the grandkids.
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