Nicholas A. Cooke July 27, 1914 - November 7, 2009 Resident of Walnut Creek Nicholas passed away peacefully at the age of 95, after a brief illness. Beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. Born in Chicago to the Protopresbyter Alexander and Matushka Valentina Kukulevsky. A true Renaissance man, he was a musician who sang in an a capella quintet which performed in parishes all over the east coast and at the 1939 New York World's Fair. He directed and appeared in a play and took part in may Russian musicals. He was an artist whose interests included wood carving, mosaics, painting, stained glass, iconography, and photography. He traveled extensively and, in 1965, flew around the world. He was fluent in six languages. He was a gentleman, a kind and gracious man with a wonderful sense of humor who enjoyed his life to the fullest. At the age of 16 he lied about his age to join an all-Russian company of the New York National Guard where he excelled in marksmanship and was classified an expert pistol shot and gunner. He graduated Pratt Institute with a degree in Industrial Chemical Engineering and spent 20 years with Kaiser Aluminum as an expert in foil packaging. While with Kaiser he wrote articles for many prestigious publications including Modern Packaging Encyclopedia. Devoted to his church, he was instrumental in the founding of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church in Concord where he served as Choir Director and board member for many years. He was on board of many Russian Orthodox organizations and was Chairman of the History and Archives Committee of the Diocese of the West. He wrote innumerable articles on the history of the church for several publications and published a book on the history of the Diocese of the West. Preceded in death by his beloved wife, of 56 years, Olga; his daughter, Valentina; and his brothers, Boris and George. He is survived by his daughter, Alexandra (Sasha) Dawson; grandchildren, Mary Monahan, Nicholas Dawson, James Monahan, his wife Mary Jane, and Christopher Dawson and his wife, Patricia; great-grandchildren, Brittany Dawson, George Robert Monahan, Nicholas Dawson, Mary Catherine, Patrick and Caroline Monahan; nephews, Alexander and George Cooke; and by his dear and best friend and companion of many years, Pauline Halter Sargent. A prayer service will be held at Oak Park Hills Chapel in Walnut Creek on Wednesday evening, November 11 at 7:00 pm. Funeral services will be Thursday, November 12 at 12:00 noon at Oak Park Hills, with interment at Oakmont Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory may be made to St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church at P.O. Box 728, Concord, CA 94522-0728
Published in Contra Costa Times from Nov. 11 to Nov. 12, 2009.