Felix L. Cook, Jr. The strong vibrant spirit that was Felix L. Cook, Jr. eagerly left this earthly side and journeyed to Glory, "owing no man" on Wednesday August 8, 2012. He was born on November 26, 1926 in Houston, TX to Felix L. Cook Sr. and Mattie Farrington Cook. He accepted Christ at an early age and was a member of Trinity Gardens Baptist Church since the age of 8.|
Felix was educated in the Houston Independent School District and graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School in 1944. While at Wheatley he participated in football and track. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Wiley College in Marshall, TX in 1948 where prior to graduation he continued to excel in track and football. He took great pride in being a part of the 1945 Wiley National Championship Football Team. He was awarded a Master's Degree in Higher Education from Texas Southern University and continued to pursue advanced studies at the University of Houston. He received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree from Wiley College.
Felix was a coach, and a teacher of Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education for 36 years. He also served in various administrative capacities and was the first African American principal to provide administrative leadership to Sharpstown High School, a predominantly white secondary school in HISD. He retired in 1986 as HISD's Deputy Superintendent of Personnel.
Felix served for 20 years as an Adjunct Professor of Higher Education at Texas Southern University teaching courses that included Professional Negotiation, Personnel Management, School Law, and Human Relationships. An expert in human resources and management, many of his students continue to share memories of his outstanding ability to impart knowledge in applicable and meaningful ways.
Felix served on numerous boards which included the Wiley Board of Trustees, Julia C. Hester House, Harris County Sports Convention Center Board (HCSCC) and Trinity Gardens Baptist Church Deacon Board. He was also a founding member of the Houston Partnership, member of the Harris County Hospital Board of Managers, and a member of the Advisory Board to the State Board of Education under former Governor of Texas, Mark White.
Over the years Felix received numerous accolades and in 2006 was the first African American, while still living, to have an HISD school named in his honor. Felix Cook, Jr. Elementary was dedicated on the same property replacing Sanderson Elementary where his beloved wife Opal Cook taught, and his son Derwyn and grandson Dwayne Jr. attended school.
Some of his outstanding recognitions included Texas Southern University College of Education 2007 Hall of Fame Induction, Man of the Year-Sharpstown High School, Educator of the Year- Mt Calvary Baptist Church, and UNCF Distinguished Leadership Award. Additionally, appreciation awards were received from MD Anderson Cancer Center, American Red Cross, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Texas Children's Hospital, and the Salvation Army.
Felix Cook was a man of honor and integrity who loved and cherished God, his family and his community. He was blessed with abundant wisdom and he used it all of his life to help and encourage others. During his tenure as Superintendent of Personnel in HISD, he was instrumental in securing employment for many educators. Even after retiring, he continued to serve as a consultant to every HISD Superintendent as well as many administrators and teachers who sought out his guidance and outstanding leadership. He was a man unmatched in his service to his Creator, his cherished family, and his community.
He was predeceased by his parents, his beloved beauty and wife, Opal Augusta Ross, his devoted son Felix Derwyn, his two sisters, Ruby Bell Sawyer, Ernestine Cook, and his brother, Frank Cook. He leaves to cherish his memory, son, Dwayne Butler (Alana) daughter, Alecia Davis, sister, Ethel B. Washington, granddaughters Cassye and Natresha Cook, grandson, Dwayne Jr. daughters-in- love, Jeri and Margo Cook, and a host of extended family members and loving friends.
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 4711 Kelly Street, Houston, TX 77020, Pastor R. C. McClean, Officiating. Viewing will occur from 1:00-2:00 p.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Wiley College Scholarships, 711 Wiley Avenue, Marshall, TX, 75670.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Aug. 10, 2012