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George J. Cooke

July 2, 1948 ~ September 9, 2021 (age 73)

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SALEM – Mr. George J. Cooke, 73 of Salem, loving husband of Donna L. (Henshaw) Cooke, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, with his family by his side.

Born in Danvers, George was the son of the late George J. McGinnis and Helen (Caverly) Cooke. Raised and educated in Salem, George was a graduate of Salem High School Class of 1966.

George was drafted into the United States Army shortly after graduating high school. He was then shipped overseas to fight in the Vietnam war. While his time served in Vietnam was tumultuous and caused him great stress throughout his life, he often reminisced how beautiful of a country it was. He would talk with fondness about the Army friends he made there as well as civilian Vietnamese friends, and how he would love to some day travel there for vacation.

Upon his discharge from the military, George relocated to California. He then spent time traveling back and forth from the east and west coast of the country for many years, until finally settling down on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

George worked for many years at Parker Brothers in Salem, as a bartender for the Salem Country Club, and most recently as a chemical worker for Permuthane Chemical in Peabody up until a serious car accident left him unable to continue his career.

A devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather; George loved to be with his family and had a very close relationship with his sister, Midge, throughout his life. He was an active father, supporting and coaching Stephen through little league, taking him to Red Sox games, teaching him how to ride a bike, and helping him reach many other milestones through out his adolescence.

He was a great dancer and was particularly fond of classic rock n’ roll. He enjoyed watching Westerns, Sci-fi movies, and liked when he could occasionally catch candlepin bowling on the local station. One of George's fondest memories was playing on the Lunatics Bowling League at The Metro Bowl in Peabody with his wife, Donna, and many other family members and friends for several years. Through all of life’s challenges, George found great comfort in the simple things in life… especially chocolate and cheesecake! He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by all who knew him.      

In addition to his wife, Donna, of Salem, with whom he shared 40 years of marriage, George is survived by his son, Stephen Cooke and his wife, Christine, and George's grandson, Jack all of Amesbury, his siblings; Chester Cooke of Peabody, Maureen “Midge” Morgenstern of Peabody and Donna Cooke of North Andover.  George is also survived by his bonus sons/nephews, Philip Downs and his family of Danvers and Jay Downs and his family of Peabody as well as numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. George was the brother of the late Carolyn McCarthy, Raymond Cooke and Jeffrey Cooke and his wife, Diane.

ARRANGEMENTS: Family and friends are invited to attend George’s Funeral Service which will be held graveside at Greenlawn Cemetery, 57 Orne St., Salem on Tuesday, September 14th at 1 P.M.. A celebration of George's life will be held on Saturday, September 18th at the V.F.W. 20 Stevens St., Peabody from 1 to 6 P.M.  Assisting the family with the arrangements is O’Donnell – Cremations – Funerals – Celebrations, 84 Washington Sq., (at Salem Common) Salem. In lieu of flowers, donations in George’s memory may be made to The Boston’s Wounded Vet Run, c/o Andy Biggs, 60 Paris Street, Boston, MA 02128. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit 

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Graveside Service
September 14, 2021

1:00 PM
Greenlawn Cemetery
57 Orne Street
Salem, MA 01970

Celebration of Life
September 18, 2021

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
VFW Peabody
20 Stevens Street
Peabody, MA 01960
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