Dr. John Franklin Cooke Sr.
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Dr. John Franklin Cooke, Sr

Farragut, TN - It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Dr. John Franklin Cooke, Sr. on January 5, 2021. John was 81 years old and lived in Farragut, Tennessee with Ivalane H. Cooke, his wife of 60 years.

John was a theoretical physicist specializing in condensed matter and was a widely respected expert in magnetism, earning bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in Physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. John joined the Solid State Division in 1966 following a post-doctoral assignment at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, England. His research focused primarily on theoretical studies of magnetism and electron correlation effects in solids. He also pioneered the use of computer techniques for calculating complex electron correlation functions from the underlying electronic band structure. His work was confirmed by neutron scattering and led to theoretically assessing the feasibility of experiments planned at the neutron spallation source in the United Kingdom.

John was a fellow of the American Physical Society and was a guest scientist at the Danish Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Denmark, Kernforschungsanlage in Germany, and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England. He served as a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Physics and on the advisory committee of the High-Performance Computing Center at Louisiana State University.

Throughout his career, John maintained close relationships with the condensed matter physics faculty at the University of Tennessee. He was instrumental in promoting the Joint Faculty program between the Solid State Division and physics department in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After retiring from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), he maintained close ties with the physics department, taught graduate courses, and continued to attend departmental colloquiums long after his adjunct teaching position ended.

Along with his professional accomplishments, John Cooke also had a full and varied personal life. Together with Gene Ice, John formed the core of the "Ear Sore Quartet" where John played the banjo, and Ice adapted traditional folk-song lyrics to physics and science topics.

He was an artist who learned to paint watching Bob Ross videos, a banjo player, and a puzzle connoisseur. He was also an incredible grandpa. He was sarcastic, hilarious, kind, a supporter who always pushed his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and sometimes others who showed an interest in discovery and learning, to invest in themselves and their future, and to question everything about the world around them.

John's love of learning and exploration lead him to many overseas collaborative research opportunities which he shared with his wife and children. Spending years living in Denmark, England, and Germany, John afforded his family the opportunity to become immersed in different cultures and experience many of the world's most beautiful and historic places. The years of travel are some of the family's fondest memories.

John is survived by his wife, Ivalane (Ivy) H. Cooke; children, John F. Cooke, Jr. (Mary Cooke), Samuel G. Cooke (Kristen Cooke), Jennifer Cooke; Grandchildren, Lisa Amsbaugh (Sean Amsbaugh), Andy Crow (Jaime Crow), Danielle O'Connell Cooke (Jarrett Williams), Andrew Cooke, Nickolas Napert, Joseph Napert; Great Grandchildren, Alex and Micheal Amsbaugh, Taylor, Kennedie, and Charlotte Crow, and Grant Williams.

The Cooke Family will announce A Celebration of John's life to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to two of John's most beloved organizations:

Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge, Tennessee https://www.fmcor.org/donate

Georgia Institution of Technology, School of Physics


*please designate "School of Physics" and click on "in memory of" and list John Cooke

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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2021.
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January 17, 2021
We are saddened to hear about the passing of our friend and scientific colleague John and send our heartfelt condolences to Ivy and family. We have taken the opportunity to make a donation to FMCOR in Johns name.
Malcolm and Barbara Stocks
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