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Mr. Willie Junior Cooke, age 73, of Sanford, NC entered into eternal rest on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at his residence.
Willie Junior Cooke, born on September 21, 1949, in Durham, N.C. transitioned into eternal rest on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at his residence with his family at his side. He was the son of the late Nathaniel Cooke and Betty C. Percell, and Bennie and Missouri Cameron.
Willie was educated in Lee County, attending W.B. Wicker School. In school, Willie was a member of the football team, track and field and was a color guard in the marching band. He graduated in 1968 and joined the US Marine Corps. After returning from the Marines Corps, he attended Central Carolina Community and graduated with an Associates degree in Recreation Technology and Associates in Industrial Management.
Willie loved children and he coached recreational football for many years. His recreational football team through the years was the COWBOYS! His favorite NFL football team was the DALLAS COWBOYS. He was a true Dallas Cowboys fan all his life. He really loved music, dancing, and cooking out. He would often have cookouts and cook-out competitions on his deck which was called “The Deck of Knowledge.” The Deck of Knowledge is where family and friends would gather and anything talked about on the deck, stayed on the deck.
He was an active member of Carr Creek National Night Out. Willie was a member of Fair Promise AME Zion Church for many years. Later he transferred his membership to God's Promise Church as “Papa Cooke. He did not let his disability hold him back! He was a member of the gospel choir, taught the children's class at Vacation Bible School and participated in the gas giveaways. He participated in God's Promise “Church in the Park,” Mother's Day car washes, and all other activities. He loved his church and truly loved God. Often he was called, “Man of God” and he NEVER met a stranger and could talk and give advice to anyone.
Willie Junior Cooke was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Willie J. Cooke II; brothers, David Cooke, Michael Cooke, and Charles “Ricky” Cooke.
Willie is survived by his wife, Myrtle Bland Cooke of 55 years; children, Jeffrey Cooke (Angela) of Sanford, NC, Shannon Cooke (Sherlynn) of Fayetteville, NC, Danielle Blue Cooke of Savannah, Georgia, Malachi Cooke, Gina Bland, and Christopher Womack of Sanford, NC; his siblings: Patricia C. Hall (Alfred) of Aurora, Colorado, Tony Spigner, Victor Cooke (Rainey) all of Durham, North Carolina, Rachel Warfield of Clermont, CA, Cicero Johnson and Jerome Percell of Sanford, NC and Arthur Cooke of Italy; aunt, Pastor Delois C. Bynum of Durham, NC; mother-in-law, Marie B. Peak of Sanford, NC; daughter-in-law: Erica Cooke of Sanford, NC; brothers-in-law: Gene Bland (Ruth) of Sanford, NC and Benny Bland; grandchildren, Zachandreia, Porsha, Jocylann, Gabrielle, Makayla, Kalaysha, Janiyah, Shekinah, Dashawn, Marquell, Treyvon, Grant, and Nina; great grandchildren, Zayvon, and Payton, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.
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Professional services entrusted to Knotts Funeral Home-Sanford, NC