James S. “Jim” Cooke, age 85, of Broadview Hts. Ohio, passed away on Monday, August 10th at MetroHealth Medical Center Trauma Unit in Cleveland as the result of a fall on Friday, August 7th. Inurnment at The Old Stone Church Columbarium will occur along with a memorial celebration of his life at a date and time to be announced in the spring of 2021 once Covid restrictions are lifted. Charitable donations in his name may be made to the First Presbyterian Society, 91 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44113.
He is preceded in death by his parents Harry Eugene Cooke and Laura Vivian Stuart Cooke and survived by his wife of 62 years Jean C. Cooke. He was the loving father of two children, Jeffrey Cahill Cooke MD (Molly Norris Cooke MD) and Judith Stuart Krew (Michael A. Krew MD). Proud grandfather of Travis Stuart Krew MD (Anna Shapiro-Krew MD), Andrew Cahill Krew (Jamie Woodburn Krew), William Norris Cooke, and Louis Keller Cooke. Big brother to Nancy Cooke (Jeff) Darrah and uncle to Doug (Cherie) Bryan, Debbie (Kevin) Duff, and Greg (Emily) Bryan.
He was born in Warren, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Mt. Lebanon HS in 1953. He attended Denison University in Granville OH, where he met the love of his life, Jean, in bowling class, graduating in 1957 with a BS in Mathematics. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. In 1959 he graduated from Penn State University with a BS in Meteorology.
Jim Cooke was active duty military serving 3 years in the US Air Force then reserve duty for 5 years, discharged at the rank of Captain. Yes, he was Captain Cooke. In 1959 he served as Commander of the 3rd Weather Squadron at Clinton County Air Force Base. In August of 1961, he was deployed to Etain, France, for a year as the Detachment Commander of the weather forecasting division for the planes that did surveillance over what would become the Berlin Wall. He made numerous passages through Checkpoint Charlie to help establish the US presence in East Berlin. He was a proud veteran and loved his country, always wearing a veteran logo ball cap to let people know.
Jim Cooke was employed by the Ohio Bell/Ameritech/AT&T Company for 33 years. He served as a District Manager in Canton , Ohio; Division Manager in Brecksville, Ohio; management positions in Corporate Planning, ISO, Traffic Staff and Traffic Line, Distribution Services (Plant), ICSC, Marketing Carrier Services, Investment and Cost, all in Cleveland, Ohio. His final title was Corporate Director of Labor Relations. He is a life member of the AT&T Pioneers.
The Old Stone Church held a big spot in his heart. He served as a Deacon, an Elder, as a Trustee, and President of the First Presbyterian Society. He was Co-Chair of Fund-raising for the 175th Anniversary of the Old Stone Church known as the “Rounding Third Campaign.” He also served as a Trustee for the Old Stone Foundation.
Jim grew progressively deaf after his military service eventually acquiring a Cochlear implant. This disability only made him more determined to share his journey and knowledge with others. A detailed article about his experience was published July 18th, 2012, in the local Sun Times and again in an article authored by Paula Span and published in the New York Times on November 11, 2013. He and Jean founded the Speech and Hearing Support Group through the University of Akron and were active members of the Great Lakes Cochlear Implant Support Group.
He never let his hearing loss interfere with his community involvement and volunteer activities. Jim was a member of the North Canton Rotary, SAR and the Clifton Club of Lakewood. If his children's schools had a levy and needed a fundraiser, he was first in line with creative ideas to get the job done. He donated his time and knowledge with H&R Block and AARP for tax preparation. He was a driver for Davis Auto and volunteered at University Hospitals of Parma taking patient satisfaction surveys. For 23 years he and Jean served as ushers for Playhouse Square.
During his rare free time, he loved collecting and working on antique clocks, growing roses and attending Indians baseball games. Along with his son, Jeff, they restored a 1930 Model A Ford naming it “Annabel” after his mother-in-law. He and Jean traveled across the country by train or car or river boat, exploring the country he loved so much. He enjoyed a good glass of scotch every evening so we ask that you raise a toast to him in heaven because he can hear you now.
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