Gerald (Jerry) James Cookson was born in Jerome, Arizona on August 29, 1937 and was raised primarily in Littleton, Colorado. After graduating from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, he moved to California where he spent 30 years as a microbiologist for the Ventura County Health Department. After many adventures, he settled in Mesa, Arizona where he died on December 16, 2020 at the age of 83. He is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald B. Cookson and Edna Cookson and by his daughter, Johanna Cookson. Survived by his wife, Joan Cookson, his children; Jerry Cookson, Jim Cookson, Andrew Cookson and Jenna Cookson and his grandchildren; Eridan Cookson, Liam Cookson, Aidan Baboolal, Kirti Prakash and Jyoshni Prakash and by his sisters; Andrea Cookson and Linnea Cookson.
Jerry was an intelligent, hard-working, compassionate man with many talents. He was active and productive until the end, even completing a 400 plus-mile bike ride through the Rocky Mountains at the age of 69. After retirement, he tried his hand at a myriad of different experiences ranging from cattle ranching in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas to becoming mayor of a small mining town high in the Colorado Rockies and, above all else, a loving father and grandfather.
He will be remembered for his indomitable spirit, strength, patience, kindness and his strict moral code that he passed to those who knew him, not by force or insistence but through his example. Jerry had a positive impact everywhere he went and commanded respect without ever having to demand it. He had piercing, aqua eyes that you were sure could see into your soul. Jerry was always ready for a good laugh and could find the humor in almost anything. There is a void in this world left by his passing, and he will be so dearly missed by those who know and love him.
Published in Ventura County Star from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2021.