Donald Eugene “Gene” Cooke passed away surrounded by his family at the age of 96 at his home in Coffeyville, Kansas.
Arthur B. Cooke and Bessie E. (Moon) Cooke welcomed their second to youngest child, Donald Eugene into this world on November 20, 1924, at their home in Coffeyville. He was welcome by his brothers and sisters. Gene attend school in Coffeyville and completed his education at Field Kindley Memorial High School. Gene was not eligible for the enlisting or being drafted into the service because his older brothers and other family members had been drafted. His drafting papers were an order to stay on the family farm to help provide food for his country and the soldiers. In addition to his service of keeping the family farm in operation he volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol.
A couple of friends set Gene up on a blind date with Lee Wanda Emery. After five years of courtship, the couple eloped on March 8, 1947 in Independence, Kansas. The couple made their home in rural Coffeyville. In the early years Gene worked for Gooch’s Feed, Continental Can, then the Railroad, prior to his longtime career at CO-OP Refinery now known as CVR Energy. Gene better known as “Cookie” retired after 35 years of service as the Chief Operator of the Coker unit.
Wherever Gene was Lee Wanda was right there working beside him on the family farm. Gene continued to farm and raise cattle until his passing. Together they harvested pecans and had a pecan cracking business for several years until the flood of 2007. If Gene were not in a tractor, out feeding cattle, he could be found in the garden. His favorite time of farming or gardening was the harvest; harvest time meant long hours and hard work, but it also was the reward for all his family’s hard work. He was a frugal man, but a generous man; he would have given the shirt off his back to anyone in need.
Gene and Lee Wanda have been members of the First Baptist Church for their married life, raising their four children in the church.
Gene leaves behind a wonderful legacy and family that will forever cherish him, his wife Lee Wanda of 73 years is of the home; his children, Janet Groves (Danny), Peggy Sandon (David), Pam Payne, Tim Cooke (Janet); grandchildren, Darin Groves (Karen), Shannon Groves (companion Doug Besse), Kevin Groves (Kristin), Jennifer Troutman (Rick), Kyle Sandon (Tyler), Tiffany Wehmeyer (Brent), Jared Cooke (Kristen); thirteen great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his, parents, brothers, Glenn, Derald, Gary and Toby Cooke, sisters, Maxine Cooke, Marjorie Bracken, Florence Benning and son in law, Tim Payne.
A book signing and viewing will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel, 2405 Woodland Ave., Coffeyville from 2 to 8 pm. Private family services will take place with burial at Fairview Cemetery. The family has requested memorial contributions be made payable to First Baptist
Church-Playground Fund or Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice and may be left in care of the chapel. To leave a message of condolence or share in a memory visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com