Andrew Robert Cooke (Nov. 11, 1963 – May 6, 2021)
Andrew (Andy) Robert Cooke, age 57, was born in Alexandria, VA at Alexandria Hospital. He died of pancreatic cancer on May 6, 2021, at his home. Maria, his beloved wife of 35 years, was by his side. He leaves behind a large, close family and countless friends, who will always cherish his generous spirit, sharp wit, and boundless love. In addition to Maria, Andy is survived by his children, Kyle Cooke, 26, and Morgan Tanner (Willie), 28; his mother Margaret Cooke; his siblings Jennifer Katt (Robert) and Linda Jordan (Robert); and numerous nieces and nephews who adored their Uncle Andy, as he adored them. He is preceded in death by his father, James David Cooke (2000).
A love story for the ages, Andy and Maria met in their early teens while attending Robert E. Lee (now John Lewis) High School in Springfield, VA, both graduating in 1982. Andy entered James Madison University the same year, graduating in 1986. Like generations of the Cooke family before him, Andy settled in the DC-metro area, where he lived his whole life, working for the Federal Government since 1990 and raising his family in Lake Ridge. There he served as baseball/softball coach, school volunteer, mentor to many, and best friend to all the dogs on the block (who regularly received treats from Andy in his driveway). He was the quintessential involved Dad, always there for his children, participating with and supporting them in whatever they did.
Andy gave back, in ways big and small, routinely distributing sandwiches to the homeless in DC whom he knew by name, purchasing a new bike for a needy child every Christmas, and faithfully supporting the many causes he believed in. A staunch advocate for biking and biking safety, Andy’s passion was cycling long distances. He frequently conquered 100- and 200-mile courses, and once biked from Lake Ridge to Virginia Tech, a distance of 300 miles, in under 3 days. His passion was contagious and provided many shared happy memories for members of his extended family.
Andy was a career civil servant at the U.S. Department of Justice (1990-2015) and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (2015-2021). It is fitting that he worked for so many years with the Justice Department, since he believed strongly in fairness and equity and always treated others—stranger and friend alike—with the utmost kindness. This quality is perhaps the one for which he is most remembered, along with his remarkable sense of humor. He loved to make others laugh and would light up any room he entered. He drew others to him, eliciting a rapt following at family gatherings, as no one wanted to be out of earshot.
No services are planned. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to honor Andy’s request that people donate to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) in his memory: https://waba.org/join-2020/.