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Real Estate / Houses

Legendary Heart Surgeon’s Personal Treasures Offered in Special River Oaks Estate Sale

Doctor’s Remarkable 70-Year Romance with his Wife Shines Through

BY // 09.29.17

Beginning today, you can acquire home furnishings, antiques, decorative objects, volumes from the library, or a keepsake owned by the doctor famously hailed as “the very best heart surgeon who has ever lived.”

Houston’s own Dr. Denton Cooley — founder of the Texas Heart Institute at CHI St. Luke’s Health – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the physician who presided over more than 109,000 open-heart procedures — passed away last fall, weeks after Louise Cooley, his devoted wife of nearly 70 years, died. Now, the couple’s heirlooms are being offered in a four-day estate sale that runs through Monday, October 2.

(Read about the well-known feud between Dr. Cooley and his mentor, Dr. Michael DeBakey — and how they reconciled, here.)

The Romance That Never Dimmed

The warm and vivacious Louise Cooley was trailblazer for a woman of her era, earning a B.A. degree in psychology from the College of William and Mary. She next attained her nursing degree, in 1949, from The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She met her future husband, a dashing resident, while she was head nurse at the Hopkins surgical clinic, and the rest is history.

She hailed from historic Frederick. Maryland; he Houston, where his paternal grandfather, Daniel Denton Cooley, was a founder of the Houston Heights. (For years, the Cooley mansion, no longer in existence, stood on Heights Boulevard.)

At the time of their passing, the close-knit couple had four (of five) surviving daughters, 16 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. The Cooleys — despite his demanding medical schedule and his never retiring from the cardiovascular field he had pioneered — were fixtures on the Houston social scene for decades, an intrinsic part of the Bayou City’s post-war philanthropy.

Holiday Gifting

  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Casa di Lino
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Nocturne Studio
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings

 

Offerings from a Fabled Couple

Now the couple’s heirlooms are being offered at a four-day sale by the same company that sold the estate of another of the city’s mythic figures last fall — The King of Torts, Joe Jamail Jr.

As appropriate for the Cooleys who resided in the heart of River Oaks, the couple’s estate will be presented in the same neighborhood they lived — at the Deco gem River Oaks Shopping Center, where Judy Robinson Appraisal and Estate Sale Services is setting up shop in a retail space a block from the River Oaks Theatre.

Items from other estates are also part of this weekend’s offerings, including household treasures from a woman who broke the glass ceiling for her work as a stockbroker, while also being a gardener and environmentalist — Mrs. Mary Ellen Holley.

Find a list and images of the estate highlights here.

Judy Robinson Fall Estate Sale: Friday, September 29 through Monday, October 2, 9 am to 5 pm daily, at 1953 W. Gray.

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