Joseph Stokes Cook passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at home after a 5 year illness with his heart. Born in Lee County, he was one of five children born to Fred and Mary Scott Cook. Growing up outside of Baldwyn, he graduated from Wheeler High School, where he played basketball. Then he attended Northeast Community College, where he was one of the first male Cheerleaders. Later he attended Mississippi State and graduated from Delta State University.
In 1966, he married the love of his life Sarah Wiltshire from Carrollton, MS. They were married 56 years and had three children: Melinda Cook, Jeffrey Cook (Paige), and Jennifer Massey (Joey).
He took time off from college for Army basic training and officers school. He retired as Lieutenant Colonel after 32 years with the Army National Guard. Joe was very active in the Kiwanis Club serving as Lieutenant Governor and longtime Secretary in the New Albany club. He was honored with the George F. Hixson Fellowship Award, Kiwanis’ highest honors. He retired after working almost 20 years as a Boy Scout Executive and then retired from AutoZone.
Joe loved his Lord, his church family, his family, and his coffee shop buddies. He was a devoted father who attended as many activities as he could. He spent his last 22 years following all his grandchildren in sports, plays, band, cheerleading, etc. He especially enjoyed visiting many sports stadiums with his son and grandsons. Even during serious illness, he attended as many activities as possible. These grandchildren were his pride and joy: Mary Lauren Cook, Jackson Cook, Caroline Cook, Eric Massey, Sarah Anne Massey, and Kaylan Massey.
He is also survived by one brother Fred Cook, Tupelo, and sisters Juanita Ryder of Baldwyn and Sara Hardin (Billy) of Lucedale and multiple nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother George Cook, and a nephew Greg Cook.
Visitation will be at First Baptist Church on Sunday evening from 5 to 8 pm and 10 am before the funeral service on Monday at 11 o’clock at First Baptist. Pastors Andrew Chesteen, Stanley Huddleston, Chris Moore, and Mark Mathis will officiate.
New Albany Funerals and Cremations be in charge of the funeral.
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