Jan Robert Cooke
1954 - 2021
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COOKE: Rev. Jan Robert Cooke, beloved husband of Lois (Millar) Cooke, passed away (was Promoted to Glory!) on Friday, April 9, 2021, at the age of 66 years. A funeral service was held at Living Faith Chapel on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 7:00 pm, with Pastor Rodney Cox officiating. Interment followed on Friday, April 16, 2021, 2:00 pm, at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery with Pastor Richard Hulit, of Cochin, officiating. Jan is survived by his wife Lois Cooke; his younger sister Joani (Cooke) Wilson; his two sons: Brittany Cooke (Melodie) and their children: Noah, Aliya (Taegen) Isaac, Kylie, Ryann, Ezra, Isabella, Brielle, Hallie, Samaeya, Charlie, Josef; Brodie Cooke (Nicole) and their daughter, Phoebe. He is predeceased by his parents: Rev. William and Doris (Wiscarson) Cooke, and his younger brother, Jon Cooke. Jan was born in Albany, Oregon, May 3, 1954. He graduated from Redmond High School in 1972. During his 10th and 11th grades he worked as Janitor at the Post Office in Redmond, then at Pud's Garage, pumping gas. After Pud's he worked at Remenschneider's Ranch, moving irrigation pipes and picking rocks. He also worked at Ed Silva Discount Furniture, helping with deliveries, and cleaning the store. During his school years, Jan learned to play piano, trumpet, and tuba. His High School Marching Band took a trip to Vancouver, BC, and in his 12th grade year of High School, to Hawaii. He sang bass in both his High School choir, and church choir. Jan and Lois met at TurtleLake Bible Camp, Saskatchewan, in the summer of 1971. His Dad, Reverend Cooke, of Redmond, Oregon, had been invited to be Guest camp speaker, bringing the whole family with him. Jan married Lois Millar two years later, in N. Battleford, SK, on June 1, 1973. They lived in Redmond for 5 years, during which time Jan obtained his Solo Pilot license. He worked in a Boat factory, in Bramco, Oregon, making 13'-20' long "SeaSwirl" boats. He also worked as a drafter for Mr. Dickson (which skill he enjoyed for many years to come, designing house plans, just for the fun of it) and later did some construction. Jan and Lois, with young son Brittany, moved to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1978. Jan worked as a salesman for Precision Business Machines for a number of years, after which he pursued several different endeavors: managing at McDonalds, working as a Car salesman, Owned and managed "Re-Read It Book Emporium", Owned and managed the Water Slide Park in N. Battleford (2 summers). Jan had a love of music, seeming to find a Concert Band to play in, wherever he was, and became a member of "The Battlefords Concert Band", playing tuba. When Lois became ill with Environmental Illness, they moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1994 where Lois could receive treatment. While in Calgary, Jan managed several different A & W's and Denny's restaurants. Jan became member of the Salvation Army Glenmore Temple band, playing tuba. (After marching 5 miles in the Calgary Stampede Parade, in a dark suit, on a hot day, carrying his tuba, he commented that he should have taken up learning the piccolo!). After moving back to N. Battleford, 8 yrs. later, Jan managed Pizza Hut for a time, worked at "The Lighthouse" shelter, then worked 10 yrs. at the Sask. Hospital. Upon retiring, Jan became an ordained Minister of the Gospel, becoming busier than he ever was before he retired, and he loved it! He would say, "I'm not retired, I'm retread." Rev. Jan Cooke held church services every Sunday morning at River Heights Lodge, and every Sunday evening in Battleford (renting the Royal Canadian Legion hall), once a month holding a "HymnSing" at which he directed a small orchestra. Friday evenings found him leading the "Kids To Go" children's program. He held church services/hymnsings at various nursing homes and senior's residences. He was so grateful for all the volunteers that came along to sing, play instruments, and read Scriptures. For almost two school years Jan directed a school band at Heritage Christian School, Battleford, once in awhile leading Chapel, especially for Remembrance Day. Rev. Cooke was community minded. He enjoyed taking part in "Those Were the Days" at the Museum, holding an afternoon HymnSing with his "Congregation" all dressed up in pioneer costumes. He loved singing and participated, along with the group, in Christmas Caroling at many of the senior's residences, at the Museum, at the Battlefords yearly Carol Fest, and even in the foyer of the Dekker Centre. At the time of the onset of his illness, Jan was active as President of the Battlefords Ministerial Association (which he served for some years), and Padre (Chaplain) for the N. Battleford Royal Canadian Legion Branch 70. For the past few years Rev. Cooke gave the message at the yearly Remembrance Day Service held in John Paul II gym. Jan loved to cook and headed up the supper at the yearly First Responders function, was chef at the annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, helped at Heritage Christian School Annual Auction dinner, and wherever/whenever someone needed help at a BBQ. Jan was a husband, a dad, and a "Papa". He was very proud of his family and loved them very much. With great joy he welcomed his two daughters-in-law. He was a handyman, a cook, a song leader, and a preacher. He loved to read, and was fascinated by the English language. He had an extensive repertoire of little-known words and used them in his everyday speech. He was an actor, playing a small role in the movie "God Directed", directed and produced by Matthias J. Johnson, which won several awards in a Film Festival. He was an author, submitting some of his articles to "Homestead.org" (which you might find interesting). Most of all, Jan loved his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Every Sunday evening, for the past several months before falling ill, while setting up the hall for church service, he would sing, "Oh, I want to see Him, look upon His face. There to sing for ever of His saving grace. On the streets of Glory, there to lift my voice. Cares all past, Home at last, ever to rejoice!" Memorial donations in memory of Rev. Jan Cooke may be made to: Heritage Christian School, PO Box 490 Battleford, SK, Canada SOM 0E0. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Published in The Battlefords News-Optimist from Apr. 29 to May 29, 2021.
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