Daryl Diane Cooper Ley, of Spring Lake, went home and into the arms of Jesus on Saturday, February 16, 2019 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 58.
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Born in Scituate, MA on February 20, 1960, Daryl spent her early childhood in Chappaqua/Mt. Kisco, NY. Daryl’s family moved to Fair Haven when she was 12, where she and her siblings spent most of their youth in their home on Haddon Park. She graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) in 1979, having spent her first high school years with the RFH Class of ’78 and some time at Blair Academy. She then went on to graduate from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Recreation.
After college, Daryl met Thomas Gerard Ley, whom she married in 1989. Daryl and Tom built a life together, settling in Rumson where they raised their four children, Adrienne, Thomas (Cooper), Ben and Becca, who all graduated from RFH, like their mom.
Daryl and Tom moved to Spring Lake in 2016, where Daryl lived the last years of her life close to the ocean she so loved.
Daryl spent much of her life by the water. An excellent swimmer, Daryl became the first female lifeguard of Manasquan Beach in the 1970s. Over the years, she taught swimming lessons to children of all ages, including her own, loving every minute of giving many little ones the gift of a good swim without a fear in the world.
Daryl’s true passion in life was spending time with her family and dogs. She cherished her family and friends and was forever generous with her fierce, gentle loyalty and love. Always smiling with a special twinkle in her bright blue-green eyes, Daryl blessed every person she encountered in her life with the gift of her contagious laugh, caring spirit and enduring zest for a good adventure. She loved spontaneous trips to Ocean Grove in the summertime, summer barbecues, cozy snow days by the fire and a good ride in a convertible with her favorite tunes from her youth blasting, wind whipping through her hair. She was an angel on Earth, bearing a unique gift to each person she knew.
Daryl was preceded in death by her father Robert Reynold Cooper.
Those left to cherish her memory are: her husband of 29 years Thomas; her beloved four children, Adrienne, Thomas Cooper, Benjamin, Rebecca, and her Fresh Air Fund daughter Tammy Gu; her mother, Thelma (Teddie) Caulfield and step-father Barry; and her four siblings, Robert Reynold Cooper Jr., of ME, Patti Cooper Orluk and her husband Bill, of NY, Gregory Cooper and his wife Cathy, of Neptune City, and Suzan Cooper Anderson and her husband Peter, of CT; and her 26 nieces and nephews, who all adore her.
Special thanks to the doctors and nursing staff at Weill Cornell and Jersey Shore University Medical Center for the wonderful care Daryl received.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the viewing from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 22, 2019 at Orender Family Home for Funerals, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan, NJ. The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at St. Paul’s Church, 80 Embury Avenue, Ocean Grove, NJ. Interment to follow at Fair View Cemetery 456 Hwy 35 Middletown, NJ 07748.
In lieu of flowers, it was Daryl’s wish that donations be made in her name to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org) or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org/give/memorials and dedications). To send condolences to the family please visit www.orenderfamilyhome.com.