Joseph Richard Cook, 79, assistant principal in city

September 03, 2005

Joseph Richard Cook, a retired high school assistant principal, died of cancer Tuesday at Joseph Richey Hospice in downtown Baltimore. The West Baltimore resident was 79.

Born in Baltimore, he was a 1945 graduate of Douglass High School. He served in the Army Air Forces from 1945 to 1946.

Mr. Cook earned a bachelor's degree from what was then Coppin State Teachers College in 1954. He earned a master's from Fisk University in 1967.

Mr. Cook joined the city Department of Education in the mid-1950s. He taught at Thomas G. Hayes Elementary School before being named an assistant principal at Cherry Hill and later Mordecai Gist elementary schools.

He retired in 1983 as assistant principal at Walbrook High.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow at St. Peter Claver Hall, Fremont Avenue and Presstman Street.

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, the former Rebecca Foster, a manager of a wholesale children's clothing business; four sons, Brian Cook of Atlanta, Charles Cook, James Cook and Jesse Foster, all of Baltimore; three daughters, Diana Robinson and Vickie Cook, both of Baltimore, and Karima Cook-Bey of Atlanta; a brother, William Parham of Baltimore; 15 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Mr. Cook's first wife, Betty Figaro, died in 1984. He outlived three sons: Derrick Timmons, who died in 1987; Richard Cook, who died in 1989; and Martin Cook, who died in 1998.

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