Amherst Magazine

Robert A. Cooke ’06

Robert A. Cooke '06 died May 16, 2010
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In Memory Robert Cooke '06

Robert Anthony Cooke '06 tragically left us on May 16, 2010 while hiking with his wife, Kate, on Baekyang Mountain in South Korea.

Rob Cooke began his college career at Hampshire College, but he was always an Amherst student at heart. Even before he officially transferred, Rob was an integral part of Amherst, a loyal member of the sailing team and actively involved in the German department. As an Amherst student, Rob continued to pursue these passions.

Nicknamed "Captain Cooke" or "The Admiral", Rob was co-captain of the sailing team for two years, during which he showed students of Amherst and the other four colleges the joys of sailing and coached them at regattas around New England. As a captain and fearless leader, he commanded the team with a high level of commitment and a constant positive attitude which inspired team members to be better sailors and students on campus.

Rob was also very dedicated to the German department, living in the German House in Porter for two years and enlivening every event in which he participated. He majored in German and Philosophy. During his senior year, Rob wrote a thesis on German rap music, for which he received summa cum laude honors.

After graduating in 2006, Rob was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Bremen, Germany, where he met his future wife, Kate, on the second day of orientation. After their year abroad, the couple wed in St. Pete's Beach, FL in 2008, and moved back to Cape Cod. In 2009, they decided to embark on a new teaching adventure in South Korea. This is where Rob unfortunately suffered a heart attack at the very young age of 26.

Instead of dwelling on his death, however, we should remember the person Rob was in life. He was generous, had a great sense of humor, and approached life with a positive attitude that is truly rare. He was the kind of person who made friends wherever he went and made a positive impact on every person he befriended. He never failed to share his enthusiasm for something, whether it was Wu-Tang Clan or Goethe, a quality that made him a natural teacher. He will forever be known for his optimism, constant laughter, musical creativity, and dedication to everything he did. There is no doubt that he will be deeply missed by his friends at Amherst, the four colleges, and around the world.

Rob is survived by his wife, Kate, his parents, John & Nancy, and his brother & wife, John & Lugeyri.

Meredith McNitt '06
Margaret Hass '07


 

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