We will joyfully carry Alfred in our hearts and memories forever.
  • Born on September 26, 1944 .
  • Passed away on April 5, 2019 .

Brother, Father, Uncle, Grandfather, Friend, Partner, Colleague, and so much more...

We are saddened to announce the passing of Alfred Cooke. We are so grateful for how much he has meant to so many. He will be, and is, greatly missed.

The family expresses sincere thanks and appreciation for all who have offered and given support through words, prayers, thoughts and hugs during this difficult time.  Your kindness means so much.  Thank you.

A Celebration of Life program will be held on April 23, 2019.  If you need details please contact Shara Hicks at the link on the right of this page. UPDATE:  Thank you to everyone who was able to attend, and those who couldn't but sent their love anyway.  It truly was a CELEBRATION of life and we appreciate your presence.

In lieu of flowers...
Alfred Cooke was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2006.  He continued to live a full life while fiercely battling through his health journey.  If you would like to help us continue his fight, you may donate via his personal link below.

This is a collaborative memorial!  Please feel free to leave a note, add photos, leave a story etc. We look forward to all that you wish to share in honor of Alfred/Al/Fred/Freddie/Daddy/Grandad!  Thank you!

Posted by Joanne Spann Clyne on April 25, 2019
From the heart of our brother, James Spann
Our Family has known Al for a long time. He and my brother Michael have been friends and partners for many years. They had a wonderful life together.
I would like to share how strong his friendship was, with our very personal experiences
Al always greeted us with his kind words and a warm smile. He was really interested in how we were doing and was constantly in a happy mood.
In the last five years he was a confidant and advisor to my wife Laurie, my friend and partner of over 42 years, who was fighting her own battles with unyielding Ovarian Cancer.
She confided to Al her deepest fears and emotions. Al would continually ask; What would you like to say, or what are your true feelings, what do you want to tell me? And Laurie told him her most inner thoughts, worries and uncertainties. Al was her Rock of Gibraltar.
Al has a very calming manner about him, and he thoughtfully listened to her. He has a way of soothing emotional pain and the terrifying unknowns, with supportive pep talks, helping her gain the confidence and make her feel strong enough to fight another marathon round of Chemotherapy.
Al’s support was relentless, he would constantly look at the positive side of the worst situations and build Up Laurie’s confidence and determination for living. Reminding her of her love for her three sons, Grandson, her family and most of all her brother Donny.
His life coaching was phenomenal, and we have never experienced a more confident, compassionate individual in our lives.
Al’s mother taught him well, setting an example that there is goodness in every person.
He was fantastic, caring and encouraging, teaching us what you can accomplish if you put your Heart and Mind to it. I don’t think I could ever thank AL enough for all the Love and Kindness he gave to me, Laurie and our family through the most difficult times.
Al was loved by many and is surely missed by everyone that knew him. Al has passed but his Spirit is eternally with us all.
Al was an amazing Man!
Posted by Timothy Giarrusso on April 23, 2019
I was in Class 36 of the MSOD program at AU/NTL. Our cohort had no representation from the "Men of Color" quadrant. Al participated in our weekend class of Diversity. There were many poignant moments and what I recall vividly was Al monitoring the dynamic of our cohort and coming into class at one point and articulating a new theory. He called it the "I need you to be, the way I need you to be" theory... which basically put a mirror up to us stating none of us (self included) were too interested in changing anything about ourselves. What Al gave me that day was the hope and desire to see, and more importantly listen to and appreciate others, which required me to change. How does one thank someone enough for that? Still working on it Al.
Posted by Loretta Hobbs on April 23, 2019
When I saw Al Cooke, I saw compassion and kindness and thoughtfulness. When I heard Al Cooke, I heard intellect and mindfulness and open curiosity. When I thought of Al Cooke, I thought of values and character and humanity. He open to me the world of OD and it changed my life in good and unexpected ways. Wish I could have given back to him even a fraction of what he gave to me and so many others. RIP dear friend. Heartfelt Condolences to Mike, daughter and family.
Posted by Mia Day on April 22, 2019
Uncle Al, you were always a light that shined in my heart since I was a little girl. I was fascinated by your handy craftsmanship around the home and never knew anyone that could build additional rooms onto their home such as you did! :) Shara was always so proud of you and I was blessed to know such a beautiful family growing up. You will be missed dearly. Till we meet again...Love always, Mia
Posted by Lucia Edmonds on April 22, 2019
Al, you were always a gentle man. I liked being around you because you were easy to talk with, easy to laugh and always generous: I never heard you say a bad thing about anybody. I would like to have had more of your time but I'm greatful for the time I had. Your spirit is light as it leaves your body because it carries only goodwill and smiles and is buoyed by the love of those who knew you.
Posted by Alyson Spann on April 21, 2019
After meeting Al for the first time, I was immediately impressed by his warmth and his kind spirit. Throughout the years he was always one to have concern for others and a genuine interest in what was happening in their lives. No matter how Ill he was, he would call to check on me, my family, my kids, or my grandkids. When my sister in law was ill with cancer, he would regularly call to comfort her and just lend an ear when she needed it most, even though he was fighting his own health battles.
Al fit right in to the wild and crazy Spann family, as another spouse who understood their outgoing, bossy, yet loving spirit!
I will miss Al dearly. May he rest in peace. We have lost a truly valiant warrior and a great man among men.
Posted by Annmarie Fennessy on April 20, 2019
From the moment I met Al, I knew he would hold a special place in our hearts and lives. His warm and welcoming personality, always put a smile on my face. I enjoyed talking with him, and just being around him. I am so thankful that he became a part of our family. Our hearts and prayers go out to Mike and all of Al’s family. Al was such a remarkable man, and his memory will live on in all of us.
Posted by Dianne Crump on April 20, 2019
I will forever miss Al, my “brother “ for almost 50 years. I met Al just after my son was born; I was his secretary at OSU and we became great friends after I typed his doctoral dissertation on an IBM Selectric typewriter (if you remember those, you are of a certain age). I knew I could pick up the phone and call him anytime about anything because he was my support system from 1970 until the day he left us. Love and condolences to Shara and her family and to Mike Spann. May Jehovah give you strength and heal your hearts.
Posted by Barry Coleman on April 18, 2019
My deepest condolences to Al's family and Mike. I met Al during my time in the AU/NTL MSOD program. Al was my guide, mentor and friend during that time. Our friendship grow once I left the program. His guidance and wisdom as I figured out my journey in OD was more than helpful and appreciated. Al and I called or texted one another on birthdays for the past 20 years. And, he somehow managed to text me every Father's Day. He loved being a Dad and Grandad. On this last birthday Al sent a great photo of him and Mike letting me know that they were celebrating 19 years together! He looked so happy and that's the smile that I love and will always remember. ❤️
Posted by Dorathea Connolly on April 18, 2019
Al is missed. I was only around him a few times due to the distance between us, but I will always remember how kind he was and how much he loved Mike and Mike’s family.
He made a great Limoncello! We were all blessed for having known him. My prayers go out to Mike and Al’s family.
Posted by Charles Sprague on April 17, 2019
RIP Al - you have gone but will never be forgotten. We were instant friends once Mike introduced us years ago before you transitioned and retired to Palm Springs permanently. We had many chats, walks and foot of the bed conversations. You were a friend, mentor and Confidant in my transition to Palm Springs retirement also.
Posted by Lenora Givens on April 17, 2019
I met Al when my middle daughter went from Texas to Washington D.C. to attend Howard university.
I was so impressed with his spirit of help. Helping to make a scared young lady feel at home.
As a mother I was so happy that he impressed upon my daughter that she could call upon him at any time.
His willing spirit to be of assistance is what I will always remember most about about Al.
I'm thankful my daughter and I met him along life's journey.
Posted by Mitch Clow on April 17, 2019
Don and I were introduced to Al by his devoted husband Mike. Al was so warm and welcoming from the start. We enjoyed his intellect and quiet humor. He was such an inspiration in so many ways! It was such a pleasure to spend time with him. We just didn’t get to spend enough time... He is missed!
Posted by Lisa Aguirre on April 13, 2019
I am deeply saddened but will always be grateful to Al for being the first resident of Canyon Sands to chat with me and make me feel welcome. He also encouraged and supported me to develop my leadership skills as chairman of the remodeling committee for the HOA. Plus we painted together too! He was such a great man and I will miss him but never forget how in a short time he improved my life!
Posted by Terry Fletcher on April 12, 2019
I know Al as the Director of AUNTL and as friend. Two stories stand out for me with Al. The first was at T group with class 34. In between those groups, Al and I were working out and discussing civil rights. He reframed my thoughts about oppression. Up to that point I had a narrow view boxed in about my focus on civil rights. A second occasion was when Al joined me in Kansas City in late 2000 (or thereabouts) for a consulting gig. It was wonderful to see him work with a tough group, but it was outside of this space that I really saw Al. We went to dinner with my family and Al was Al. His love for kids was wonderful. He spent so much time with Trey and Taylor. His interaction with them taught me a bit more about how to be a father. Kind and attentive. Blessed by knowing him as a teacher, mentor and friend.
Posted by Joanne Spann Clyne on April 11, 2019
Al came into the Spann family with a smile that never left his face. I am sure he looked at us in wonder...What makes this family click even though they are not all in the same state? He soon found out that it was love. He accepted us, tolerated us, yet he still loved us. And we certainly loved him. He was a gentleman that loved his husband and his family. He glowed when he spoke of them. We will take care of Mike, Al......with your help from above. I thank the good Lord that he brought you into our lives. You are loved. You will be forever missed. Rest in peace.

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