NORTHFIELD - Colby Jerome Cooke, 27, died unexpectedly in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 25, 2014.
He was born in Berlin on July 6, 1986, the son of Jerome and Sandra (Wheeler) Cooke.
Colby was a graduate of Northfield High School, Class of 2004.
Colby sought employment after graduation and enjoyed working as an automobile salesman in the central Vermont area and then ventured off to South Florida for employment. Colby had a drive for life and laughter and was always making people laugh and smile.
He enlisted in the United States Army
in 2009 and was a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, serving in Operation Enduring Freedom at Forward Operating Base Sharana with the 554th EN Company Headquarters Platoon. During his military service, he became a SIG support systems specialist, setting up and encrypting communications for the convoys, installing the "Blue Sky Trackers" system for U.S. Army vehicles overseas.
He played basketball during his high school years, and his passion for basketball continued after his graduation. He enjoyed music, cars, time with friends and family, and his time spent with his "battle buddies" who served with him in the Army.
Survivors include his father, Jerome Cooke, of Montpelier; his mother, Sandra Fraser, and stepfather, John, of Northfield Falls; paternal grandmother Mary Louise Cooke, of Northfield; maternal grandmother Margaret Rollins, of Northfield Falls; companion Cynthia Devins (Bagley) and their son, Jeremy Richard Bagley, of East Calais; his sister, Stephanie Jordan Cooke, of Warren; and her stepsiblings, Lauren Fraser, of Elmore, and Brent Fraser, of Enfield, N.H.; many aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was predeceased by his paternal grandfather, Allan Cooke, and maternal grandfather, Edward Leon Wheeler.
There are no calling hours. A funeral service to celebrate his life will be conducted Saturday, April 12, at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Northfield, with a gathering after the services downstairs in the parish hall. Donations may be made in his memory (to provide educational assistance for Colby's son) to the Jeremy R. Bagley Education Fund, c/o Northfield Savings Bank, P.O. Box 347, Northfield, VT 05663. Kingston Funeral Home in Northfield is assisting with the arrangements.