Michael George Cook Sr., 83, passed away Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at his home in Fletcher, North Carolina, following a long illness. Although Michael was born in Brooklyn, NY, he called the Carolinas home for the majority of his life.
Michael grew up in Kershaw, South Carolina, attending Kershaw High School (Class of 1957) and continued his education at Clemson University and Coker College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, Biology (1963) and Appalachian State University, graduating with a Masters of Arts, Physical Education (1968) where he also served as a Graduate Assistant Football Coach. His love of education and coaching spanned 43 years. He enjoyed teaching Biology, Physical Education, Drivers Education and coaching football on both the College and High School levels. Most notably, as the Head Coach at Lees McRae College, Offensive Coach at Wake Forest University, Offensive and Defensive Coach at Mars Hill College, and West Henderson High School from which he retired. In his spare time, you would likely find Michael, in the spring and summer tending to his rose garden, in the fall watching a football game or attending an Appalachian Football Game, cheering on his beloved Mountaineers, and in the winter reading a new book. Michael was of the Baptist faith throughout his life. He and his family are members of the First Baptist Church of Asheville.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Alma Barfield Cook and George Ross Cook; brothers, Jonathan Larry Cook and Jerry Barfield Cook; and son, Andrew Thomas Cook. Michael is survived by his wife of 59 years, his High School sweetheart, Sandra Eubanks Cook. He was a loving father to his three children, Michael George (Buzz) Cook, Jr. (Kristin Fore Cook), Lance Burrell Cook (Shannon Dwyer Cook), and Jonatha Paige Cook and doting granddaddy to his two grandchildren, Alexandria Tara Cook Thurmond (Cameron Tyler Long) and Tyler Andrew Cook.
A private graveside service will be held in Kershaw, SC in late summer to celebrate Michael’s life with his family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to your favorite charity or the First Baptist Church of Asheville.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family and a guest registry is available online at www.grocefuneralhome.com.