Earllean “Cookie” Burrell was born in Houston, Texas on September 26, 1932. She lived a quiet life, growing up with her sisters, Ruth and Louise. After reaching adulthood in she married charismatic police officer, Milton Roy Legé in El Paso, Texas, and gave birth to her first child, Milton. For the next 15 years, Cookie was blessed with another 9 children. Remaining close, however, and after peacefully parting ways with Milton Sr., Cookie fell in love a second time and married her second husband, John Thomas Likely, Sr, an Army Sargent with big heart and an easy smile. It was not long after meeting John that she was blessed with two more children, bringing the total number of bright and inquisitive offspring to 12, consisting of 7 girls and 5 boys.
Deciding to settle for good in El Paso, TX when John retired from the army, together they nurtured these 12 children who had 12 distinct personalities and dreams.
Throughout the next decades she presided as the Matriarch of the ever-growing Legé-Likely family, never missing an opportunity to showcase her inherent wisdom, tempered with a deep love for all her children. With pride, she watched the size of her eclectic family grow exponentially, adding dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren much to her boundless joy.
Cookie’s love of people and desire to serve God didn’t stop with her beautiful family. She worked for some time as a Nurse’s Assistant, aiding the sick and elderly. She then worked for JC Penney for some time, ultimately choosing to stay at home. It was during this time that Cookie shrewdly ushered her children into independence, but always kept a warm meal and soft bed to any of her children or grandchildren who were in need. Cookie enjoyed reading, gardening, keeping up with her family and was an active member at Mt. Zion Baptist Church where she enjoyed singing in the church choir and participating with the Deacons’ & Ministers’ wives organization.
Cookie peacefully departed this earth on March 12, 2022. She is preceded in death by her husband, John, her children Carey Dion Legé, Monica Lynn Legé, Renee Denise Legé, Kenneth David Legé and most recently, Derek Glenn Legé. She is also preceded in death by her brother James Burrell and sister Louise .
Cookie is survived by her children Milton Roy Legé Jr, Elisa Ann Legé, Chandra Olivia Legé-Etter, Tonoa Gaynell Legé, Sherri Elayne Bongo, Jason Heshimu Likely, and Cristiane Johneé Likely; her sister Ruth Francis and a host of beautiful grandchildren, great-grandchildren and countless other family members and friends.