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Stephen Charles Cooke

April 26, 1970 ~ August 28, 2021 (age 51)


Stephen (Steve) Charles Cooke, 51, of Grand Rapids, MI passed away on August 28, 2021.

Steve was born April 26, 1970, in Augusta, GA, to Lt. Colonel Joseph D. Cooke, Jr. and Sally P. Cooke. At a young age, Steve found his one true love - soccer - and was an incredibly skilled player in the Mississippi soccer scene. He played for many years, however, in his teens, his parents divorced and the family relocated to Michigan and Steve never picked up a soccer ball again.

The move was difficult for Steve and he struggled with the adjustment. He graduated from East Kentwood High School in 1989. Unfortunately, his life as a young adult was troubled, leading to incarceration. During this time, Steve was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. After regaining his independence, his mental illness made it difficult for him to maintain permanent employment. However, as Steve grew older, he learned to live with his condition and settled into a quiet routine.  

Steve passed much of his time watching favorite tv shows, movies and the Baltimore Ravens football. He was a creative; filling countless journals with his own original poetry, drawings and paintings. He adored his miniature poodle, Molly and spent his days loving and caring for her. Steve wasn’t incredibly social but he had a small group of friends he enjoyed playing video games and venturing out with to occasionally catch a movie. He also loved watching Michigan State University football and basketball, a passion he shared with his late mother.

Steve is preceded in death by both his parents. He is survived by his sister, Kathryn Zerega (Cooke) and brother-in-law, Scott Zerega, and his niece and nephew, Piper and Miller.

Steve has been cremated and his remains will be spread at a later date in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where Steve’s fondest memories are of growing up.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Michigan, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons and their families living with serious mental illness.

 NAMI Michigan | Michigan's Voice on Mental Illness

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