Louise “Cookie” Barella left this earth to go to the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 15th 2024, surrounded by her family at Central Wyoming Hospice.
Cookie was born August 14th, 1937 in Dell Rapids, South Dakota to Edward and Johanna Schwarz, where she grew up along with eight brothers and sisters.
She attended St. Mary’s Academy in Dell Rapids and graduated in 1955. In 1957, she married John G. Johnson. Together they had three children, Jody, Vicki and Cathy. They later divorced. Cookie worked for the Rapid City Journal until moving to Casper, WY in 1969, and began working for the Casper Star Tribune. In 1971 she married Bill “Rusty” Solley who adopted her girls. Together, they sang music together for many years. However, they later divorced. In June 1978, Cookie married S.A. Jerry Barella and remained with him until he passed away March 30, 1979. Cookie worked at First Interstate Bank from 1982 until she retired in 1996. She was a member of St. Anthony’s Church and the Eagle’s Auxiliary.
Cookie’s greatest love was her family. Her Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren were the joy and center of her life. She was the Pillar of Strength and love to her family, always cooking the big holiday meals, baking cookies for each and every grandchild, with more love than any one person could have, and you could taste it in everything she created. She loved spending time with her friends. She also loved to spend her time reading and putting together and framing puzzles.
Cookie touched the lives of all who knew her, in ways too far to number. Her laughter filled every room she was in. She was very kind and loving, and very selfless. She would gladly give anything she could just to help someone. She always greeted you with a smile and a warm hug. Her love knew no bounds.
In 2021 Cookie was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, and in October of 2022 she went into Assisted Living at Garden Square in Casper, Wyoming and later moved to Meadow Winds Memory Care where she lived until her final days.
Cookie is survived by her daughter, Cathy Hickel (Randy), her Grandchildren: Joshua Trujillo, Adam Jackson (Kayla), Brianna Lanka (Shadoe), Sommer Grogan (Tom), Nick Perkins (Veronica), Casey Frederickson (Jamie), Tessa Condelario (Kyle) and Anthony Coscino, all of Casper, WY. Courtney Hickel of Phoenix, AZ and Garrett Hickel, Dickinson, ND, and honorary Granddaughter, Angel Padilla. Great-Grandchildren, Talen Trujillo, Noah and Emelia Jo Jackson, Kellan and Elise Grogan, Tommy Donnauro and James Fredrickson, Paytynn Hickel, Jeremiah Jenkins and Noura Hickel. Brothers, Richard Schwarz of Paris, CA and Tom Schwarz (Mary) of Sioux Falls, SD and Sister-in-Law-Sharon Schwarz of West Valley UT, and Brother-in-Law Fred Koehle of Marietta GA, as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry Barella, Father and Mother, and Step Father-Sylvester Moeller, Brothers: Gerald Schwarz & Dennis Schwarz. Sisters: Lorraine Peterson, Joan Koehle, Shirley Mullinex and Patricia Knapp. Her Daughters, Jody Perkins and Vicki Coscino, Son-In-Law Frank Coscino and Great Grandson, Jaxon Lee Lanka.
Cookie was very loved by everyone who knew her and she will be greatly missed by all. Never forgotten.
The family would like to thank all of the Care Takers at Garden Square, Meadow Winds, Home Instead – Brianna Lanka, Camdyn Montgomery, Judi Skeoch - Rikki Cast, and Yeni Ortiz who took such wonderful care of her while in Assisted Living, as well as the Care Team at Central Wyoming Hospice.
Services will be held Tuesday, January 23rd at10:00 AM at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church – 604 South Center. Burial will follow immediately after the Mass at Highland Cemetery, and then a reception at Faith Bible Chapel – 500 No. Forest Drive following burial.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Central Wyoming Hospice in Honor of Cookie Barella.