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GREENSBORO — Mr. Harold L. Cooke, 86, a member of Pleasant Garden community for over 58 years, passed away on Friday, March 21, 2014, at Moses Cone Hospital. Harold was born in Surry County on Feb. 1, 1928, the seventh of nine children to William McKinley and Annie Arrington Cooke. After high school he attended the Rocky Mount School of Photography. He was a veteran of the United States Army serving from March 1946 until September 1947. After the military he was a management trainee at Roses Five and Dime in Gainesville, Ga., and then transferred to Sanford, as assistant manager. In 1950 Harold began a career with the NC Highway Patrol as a trainee and radio dispatcher. A year later he transferred to Blowing Rock as radio dispatcher manager. Harold then trained in Chapel Hill as a highway patrolman and continued working with the Highway Patrol where he also utilized his photography skills, working with the Greensboro Daily News on special photography projects. He was privileged to be able to take photos with and for Mickey Spillane, who became his lifelong friend. Harold and Mickey worked closely on many story lines together. After the patrol, Harold served on the Greensboro Alcohol Board of Control, enforcement division. Harold met the love of his life, Gail Thrower at Women's College in Greensboro, and they were later married in May of 1956. They moved to Pleasant Garden and started their family together. Harold was employed as a salesman with Founders Furniture in Pleasant Garden, later to become Thomasville Furniture industries in 1968 where he remained for 37 years and was #1 in sales for most of his career there. Harold was active with the Pleasant Garden Chamber of Commerce/Jaycees and was instrumental in the building of the Pleasant Garden Community Center. Harold also formed the Carolina Cloud Chaser's Balloon Port in 1975 alongside close friends Don and Jo Cline. The family had many years of enjoyment with hot-air ballooning. Harold was preceded in death by his wife, Sarah Gail Thrower Cooke; and son, Jeffrey Lewis Cooke. Left to cherish his memory are his son, Ed Cooke and wife Edie of Greensboro; daughters, Kerry Cooke Owen and husband Don of Hampstead, Allison Cooke Williams and husband John of Raleigh, Polly Cooke Dimidio and husband Joe of Pleasant Garden; brother, George Dewel Cooke of Mount Airy; sister, Doris Cooke Jessup of Westfield; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. The family will receive friends from 4:30 until 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at Forbis & Dick Pleasant Garden Chapel, followed by a service at 7 in the chapel. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 28, at Guilford Memorial Park, Greensboro. Memorials may be made to Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, P.O. Box 206, Pleasant Garden, NC 27313; or to Carolina Chapter of Myasthenia Gravis, P.O. Box 5054, Cary, NC 27512. Offer online condolences to

Published in Mount Airy Newspapers from Mar. 25 to Mar. 26, 2014
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