May 1, 1934 ~ October 8, 2017
Charles Emanuel Cook, Jr. died on Sunday, October 8. He was 83 years old. After living twenty-two years in Athens, Charlie and his wife Patricia moved to Park Springs Retirement Community in Stone Mountain. Charlie was raised in Charlotte, NC. He is the son of Quinnette and Charles Cook. He graduated from Central High School, earned his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts from Erskine College and a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary. It was at Erskine that he met and married Patricia L. Lynch from Atlanta, GA. Charlie’s first church was in Williston, South Carolina followed by time as the Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Washington, Georgia and Trinity Presbyterian Church in Macon, Georgia. His son Charles was born just before they left South Carolina and his daughter Luci was born in Washington. This began a time of juggling all the parts of being a minister and a father – both of which he loved. While he shone in the pulpit, his favorite part of his time as a minister was building relationships with all of the members of his church and community. He cast a wide net of love and support that continued beyond his time as a minister right up until his death while living at the Park Springs Retirement Community. But his talent went beyond ministry. His various leadership positions in the presbytery and coordination of things such as the summer camp for middle schoolers led him to be selected as the Executive Presbyter for the Augusta-Macon Presbytery that encompassed churches in that geographic area. He and his family moved to Milledgeville, Georgia for this position and it is here that both children graduated from high school and left for college. In 1984, he went on to fill the same role in the larger Northeast Georgia Presbytery that was based in Athens. He fulfilled these leadership roles with compassion and a steady hand to guide the churches and their congregations through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – addressing many of the cultural challenges as our society grew and evolved. His relationships transcended different points of view and gave him a special place in the hearts of all who knew and worked with him. Charlie had extensive talents in wood craftsmanship and constructed many small and large pieces of art and furniture over the years. He also made a number of go-carts that he enjoyed with his children and grandchildren on the hills of Georgia. Additionally, he sang in the choirs at all of his churches and concluded his love for music singing with the MelloTones men’s chorus at Park Springs. An early adopter of all things to do with computers and technology, he made the slide presentations and programs for their performances. He loved to read, play bridge, take his family out on the boat, take his children waterskiing or tubing and push the limits of fun – especially with his grandchildren. As so many of his friends have said – “I just loved Charlie. We talked for hours and hours. I always knew he was there for me.” Charlie was a devoted father to his son Charles and daughter Luci. That devotion took on a wonderful new dimension when he became a grandfather. Playing games, making cookies, going out for breakfast, blowing bubbles, planning field trips, creating “sack” presents, riding in the boat, making crafts, riding go-carts, hiding Easter eggs, designing memory books, playing at the park, going to museums, and generally creating an atmosphere of love and fun brought some of the greatest highlights of his life. Jacob (who has now graduated from college), Chas and Abigail (who are sophomores in college) and Owen (who is in high school) have memories from “Tishy” and “G-Daddy” beyond what he would have ever dreamed for them. The impact on their lives provides a glimpse into his joyful influence on hundreds if not thousands of people during his life. Charlie was preceded in death by his wife Patricia in 2013. He is survived by a son, Charles (married to Amy Bryan); and a daughter, Luci (married to Don Elsey). His four grandchildren are Jacob Elsey, Chas Cook, Abigail Elsey, and Owen Cook. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law in Seattle. A memorial service was held at Park Springs Retirement Community at 2pm on Thursday, October 12. This was a wonderful celebration including music from the MelloTones and participation by some of Charlie’s closest friends. A memorial service will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Athens on Sunday afternoon, November 5 at 2:00 PM. The Reverend Bob Hunt will officiate. A reception will follow the service. Charlie’s cremains will be buried with those of his wife Patricia in a Memory Garden, that they both helped establish. The family requests no flowers. Memorials may be made to: Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center deenortoncenter.org or to Mission Emanuel missionemanuel.org/donate.