JoElla J. Cooke (“Nanny”) was welcomed into heaven on June 14, 2022.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Albert Hurst, her second husband, J. Thurston Cooke, parents, Floyd Julian and Ella Sharpe, eight brothers and sisters: Billie, Bobby, Carmen, Carol, Earl, L.D., Pauline, Tommy, and granddaughter, Courtney.

JoElla is survived by her brother, Darrell, her children, Bryan (Brenda) Cooke, Cindy (H.C.) Sunderland, Terri (Gary) Watson, Tracy Cooke, and Becki (Rodney) Smith, several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended relatives, and countless friends.

Born in 1928 in Sevierville, TN, JoElla was loved by all who knew her. She was a woman who knew what she wanted and went after it. After only seeing her first husband step off a bus, she said, “I’m going to marry that man,” and she did. After his sudden passing, she met her second husband, and two weeks later, they were married.

Growing up, JoElla was a hard worker. She had several jobs, but her greatest passion was caring for children. As owner of Little Beck Daycare in Middle Valley, she nurtured and cared for more than 2,000 children. When it came time to retire, she continued working for her daughters’ daycare center, Sequoyah Learning Center, until the time of her passing.

Not only did JoElla provide for the children in her care, but she was the nurturing matriarch of the family. Cooking meals for the entire family at least five times a week, she was truly a remarkable woman. The stories shared around her dining table will last a lifetime. JoElla supported her family in any way she could - financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She was a gracious woman who will be sorely missed by all.

A lifelong believer and follower of Jesus Christ, we are certain she is celebrating in heaven with her loved ones who have gone before her. JoElla was one of the founding members of Dallas Bay Baptist Church and, more recently, a founding member of Christ Reformed Church. While we will miss her dearly, we rejoice she is no longer in pain or encumbered by worldly sorrows. Knowing we will be reunited again one day brings joy and peace to us during this time.

The family would especially like to thank Wendy, Gabbi, and Susan with Hearth Hospice for their kindness and tender care.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in JoElla’s honor at Christ Reformed Church in Soddy Daisy. Donations may be mailed to 12220 Old Dayton Pike Soddy Daisy, TN 37379 or made online at

A graveside service will be performed by Pastor Britt Watson, on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at the Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist, North Chapel, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, TN 37343.

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