Thomas McK. Cook, 87, office designer, veteran Thomas...

November 14, 2001

Thomas McK. Cook, 87, office designer, veteran

Thomas McK. Cook, a retired Lucas Bros. office designer and marketing specialist who was a decorated World War II veteran, died Friday of heart failure at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. He was 87.

The longtime Ruxton resident, who had just moved to Mercy Retirement Center in Timonium, worked for the Baltimore office supply company for 20 years and retired in 1981. Earlier, he worked for nearly 20 years in a similar capacity for Koch Office Supplies.

Mr. Cook was born in New York City and moved to Ruxton with his family in 1928. He was a 1934 graduate of McDonogh School and attended the Johns Hopkins University.

In 1938, he enlisted in the Maryland National Guard. Commissioned a lieutenant in the 29th Division of the Maryland National Guard in 1940, he was called to active duty and promoted to captain at the outbreak of World War II.

He commanded infantry units in the 83rd and 75th Divisions, and after landing on Utah Beach in Normandy on June 11, 1944, he joined the 1st Army's 60th Infantry Regiment. Wounded at Hurtgen Forest, he returned to active duty in time to participate in the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged in 1945 with decorations that included the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

Mr. Cook was a member of the 29th Division Association, the 9th Division Association, the Purple Heart Association and the Reserve Officers Association. He also was a member of the Colonel Nicolas Ruxton Moore Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution and the L'Hirondelle Club.

He enjoyed spending summers at a second home at Cape May, N.J., and was an avid genealogist.

Mr. Cook was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Boyce and Carrollton avenues in Ruxton, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, the former Genevieve Huff; two sons, Dr. Thomas McK. Cook IV of Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Douglas M. Cook of Hanover, Pa.; a brother, Jerrold K. Cook of Rodgers Forge; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Roberta M. Briscoe, 74, Brooklyn Park librarian

Roberta M. Briscoe, retired librarian at the old Brooklyn Park High School, died of cancer Friday at her Columbia home. She was 74.

Mrs. Briscoe began her career with Anne Arundel County public schools in 1950 as a physical education teacher at Bates Junior-Senior High School in Annapolis. She was named librarian at Arundel Junior High in Gambrills in 1963, and at Brooklyn Park in 1966. She retired in 1991.

She was especially interested in African-American history, and collected a large library devoted to the subject.

Roberta Miller was born and raised in Washington and graduated in 1945 from Dunbar High School there. She graduated cum laude from what is now Morgan State University in 1950, and earned a master's degree from Columbia University and a certificate in library science from Catholic University of America.

Mrs. Briscoe, who lived in Ashburton before moving to Columbia in 1968, was active in civic organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Council of Negro Women. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

She also was an active member of St. John's Episcopal Church, 9120 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, where services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Surviving are her husband of 47 years, Thomas Briscoe; and a daughter, Carolyn Briscoe of Washington.

Julia Mae Bennett, 58, administrative specialist

Julia Mae Bennett, an administrative specialist with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, died of lung cancer Saturday at Mercy Medical Center. She was 58.

A native of Sumter, S.C., Julia Hastie attended South Carolina public schools and earned a degree in elementary education in 1964 at Morris College in Sumter. She taught four years in public schools.

In 1967, while visiting relatives in Baltimore, she met and began dating Bobby Bennett. The couple married three years later, and Mrs. Bennett moved to Baltimore. After the birth of their second child, Mrs. Bennett was a substitute teacher in city schools from 1971 to 1974. Later, she was an office assistant with the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund.

Since 1978, Mrs. Bennett had held various clerical positions with the Health Department.

She was a longtime volunteer at First Abyssinia Baptist Church, where she was a member of the pastor's aide and kitchen committees, and president of the Missionary Circle for 13 years. She also was a member of the United Missionary Baptist Conference and of the Evergreen Neighborhood Association.

Services will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at First Abyssinia Baptist, 2500 Arunah Ave. in Baltimore.

In addition to her husband, survivors include two daughters, Terry B. Sears of Woodlawn and Berita Rochella Bennett of Houston; her mother, Bertha Mae Hastie of Sumter; and a sister, Patricia Ann Hastie-Lewis of Columbia, S.C.

Pauline F. Gurley, 84, electronics worker

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