(WBIR-Knoxville) A note was left on the desk of Gary Cooley Wednesday.

It read: "Dear Gary, I want to thank you for all your help with our 'Keep my Tennessee Home' program.'"

Jackie Mayor worked with Cooley. She said he was working on getting two more families connected to a home of their own Monday afternoon. The next day, one of his co-workers found him and another woman dead inside his house.

"Got those (housing foreclosures) closed and was packaging them up with the papers that have to go to the state, And it was 'see ya tomorrow!' and that was what you expect," Mayo remembered.

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She couldn't believe it when she heard someone broke into his house and murdered him.

"Total shock. Our whole work family is devastated by the news. It's not something you expected to find out," Mayo said.

However, the KHP was not the only place Cooley worked. His public service time went farther back.

"He was definitely a giver. He had been employed with Jellinek Center for a few years back," said the center's director Johnny Lewis.

The E.M. Jellinek Center serves men battling substance abuse. Most recently, Cooley was on this non-profit's board.

"He would try and help anybody that he could -- no matter what the situation was," Lewis said. "He had an answer -- he was a guy that was full of energy."

Cooley also worked for the Volunteer Ministry Center.

"He kept himself involved and I believe that's what gave him the most satisfaction," Lewis added.

Which makes his co-workers simply wonder, with his desk now empty at the KHP, why would someone do this to him?

"His life's work to helping those in need that this would be the way it ended," Mayo said.

If you have any information, you should call the Knoxville Police Department's crime information line at 865-215-7212. Callers can remain anonymous.

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