Obituary: John Charles Cooke II

Obituary: John Charles Cooke II

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Photo courtesy the Cooke Family

Prepared by the Cooke Family

John Charles Cooke II, of East Setauket and Cazenovia, New York, passed away peacefully in Cazenovia on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the age of 90.

John was born in Hempstead on Jan. 26, 1933, to John Charles Cooke and Emma Kopec Olson at the height of the Great Depression. He came from humble beginnings, overcame many obstacles and prospered as a self-made man. John, quite simply, lived a full and extraordinary life.

At 16, John founded Cooke Contracting with his uncle, operating heavy equipment at various locations. He then went on to launch Cooke & Olson Inc., designing and constructing custom homes throughout Long Island with his business partner.

John and his first wife had three children: John, Jennifer and Judith. When John met his second wife, Elaine Goldthwaite, their family grew to include Elaine’s son John and daughter Adair.

Aside from being a strong and supportive father, he was also a proud grandfather — “Poppa Cooke” — of 11 grandchildren:  John Mark and Sonya Cicci; Evan and Trevor Cooke; Maureen, Grace, and Meg Milmoe; Katie and Elizabeth DeMarino, Jordan and Sarah Passe Cooke; and great grandchild, Jameson.

As a longtime resident of East Setauket, John was a passionate sailor and a member of the Setauket Yacht Club. He spent many hours racing his legendary Raven sloop around Port Jefferson Harbor. He also competed in classic offshore and Long Island Sound races as a foredeck specialist that included multiple Newport-Bermuda races, Off Soundings regattas and New York Yacht Club cruises.

When not out sailing, you could find John at his easel oil painting nautical scenery, running or walking around his neighborhood of Strongs Neck or at the local range trap shooting.

John was a beloved husband to Elaine Goldthwaite Cooke and is also survived by his five children: John Charles (Deborah) Cooke III, Jennifer Cooke Cicci, John (Alexandra) DeMarino Jr., Judith Cooke (Tony) Weseman, Adair DeMarino (Patrick) Milmoe; 11 grandchildren; one great grandchild; and sister, Gloria Bobbit.

John was preceded in death by his father, John Charles Cooke; mother, Emma Kopec Olson; brother, Dave Olson; and sister, Alice.

No services will be held at this time, and the family requests no donations or flowers be sent. Condolences for the family may be left at