Obituary Listings

Jerry Cooke

September 8, 1941 October 10, 2018
Jerry Cooke
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Obituary for Jerry Cooke

Jerry Cooke was born on September 8, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio to parents Stephen Cooke and Lillian (Baum) Cooke. Jerry was the middle child between his siblings Carolyn and Tom.

Before graduating Central High School, he went to prom with his future wife Alice Smallwood. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy as an electrician during the Vietnam War. On leave from the service in 1962, he married Alice. Soon after his service ended, they had two children together: Michele in 1965 and Ritchie in 1967.

He began his career as an electrician in Cincinnati and worked for thirty years until he retired from the Metropolitan Sewer District in 1997. He remained a loving and attentive caregiver to his ailing wife Alice, who passed from the world in 2002.

All through his life, Jerry enjoyed working with his hands: he loved to sketch animals and pleasant scenes on the farm, he built decks and cabinets, he tiled floors and poured concrete, and he could carve the most amazing pumpkins.

An animal lover and humanitarian, Jerry passed onto his children a compassion for all of God's creatures. He remained a strong influence on his grandchildren Glen and Mark, whom he taught the values of humility and unyielding integrity.

Jerry found love again with Marlene Kroger, with whom he spent the rest of his years traveling, gaming, and gardening. He became very close with her family, including Afton, Charity and Gavin, and he spent holidays with both families under the same roof.

During retirement, he remained active and social by driving senior citizens to their medical appointments, and he regaled his blended family with a love of political discussions and corny jokes. A lasting memory of Jerry will be his playful grin beneath a bushy mustache, arms folded in relaxed contentment, with a dog perched on his lap.

On July 14, 2018, Jerry suffered a stroke that put him in the hospital. He underwent heart surgery to remove the endocarditis that caused the stroke, and he began to show a promising recovery. Every day, he practiced his speech and motor skills, and every day he grew a little bit stronger. However, a second bout of infection and sepsis set in, and with quiet braveness and loving family at his side, he passed away in Bethesda North Hospital on the evening of October 10th at age 77.

Though he lost his loving wife Alice in 2002, Jerry is survived by loving partner Marlene, daughter Michele, son Ritchie, and grandsons Glen and Mark. He was a U.S. Navy man, electrician, carpenter, and artist. He will be missed for his endless generosity, kindness, and humor.

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