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Phil Cooke, 67

December 11, 1953 — October 4, 2021

Phil Cooke, 67


Mr. Philip Dale Cooke, 67, of Washburn Community passed on Monday, October 4, 2021 due to a tragic accident. Phil was the son of the late Delbert and Versey Cooke of Shelby, N.C. Phil was a retired educator. He earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from Gardner Webb University, where he pitched baseball for the Bulldogs. Phil began his career as a teacher at Cool Springs and quickly moved to school administration, serving as Principal for Cool Springs and East Rutherford Middle (ERM). Phil was recognized as Principal of the Year for Region 8 during his tenure and achieved other notable accolades. After leaving ERM, he served as Executive Director of Personnel for Rutherford County Schools. He made many lifelong friends while serving Rutherford County Schools.

Phil was a man of integrity that searched for opportunities to help others throughout his community. He had a natural, quiet nature and never liked being the center of attention. Phil enjoyed fishing, hiking, and visiting with his neighbors. He was an avid Yankees baseball fan along with the Fighting Irish. He would get so nervous watching the Irish play football, he couldn't watch the whole game.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 24 years, Amy Washburn Cooke; daughter Leah Cooke Miller, whom he adored, her husband Aaron of Boiling Springs, S.C. Sons Taylor Griffith of Forest City and Lee Griffith and his wife Kristen of Bostic. Together, Phil and Amy lived a blessed life! He was so proud of his children, and had unconditional love for his grandchildren (Easton & Noah Miller, Kennedy & Edison Griffith). Three siblings Joe Cooke of Lattimore, Nancy Cooke Howell of Shelby and Diane Cooke McSwain of Gastonia. He checked on his Mother-in-love, Catherine Washburn, daily just to make sure she did not need him. In addition to his immediate family, he valued the meaningful relationships with his nieces and nephews. He will truly be missed by his family and friends!

His life will be celebrated during a graveside service on Saturday, Oct. 9 @11:00 at Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery. The Rev. Sam Burleson will officiate and Randy Howell will provide the music. Pallbearers are Grant Bailey, Adam Cooke, Lee Griffith, Taylor Griffith, W.D. Hutchins, Ben McSwain, Aaron Miller, and Jamie Shelton.

Memorials may be made to Salem United Methodist Church PO Box 220, Bostic, N.C. 28018 to purchase new playground equipment.

Washburn & Dorsey Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.

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