The campus community mourns the passing of Gerald Wang Cooke, 89, who died on Wednesday, December 24, 2014. Gerald joined the Bucknell faculty in 1962 and, after teaching for 26 years, retired as Professor Emeritus of Religion in 1988.
He graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School, continued his education at Colorado College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and then at Yale Divinity School, where he graduated with a degree of Doctor of Divinity. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society.
Gerald served three years in the U.S. Coast Guard on a troop carrier in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
He began his career in the ministry, serving at a Congregationalist Church in Middlefield, Connecticut. His ambition to teach religion at the university level took him to Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. In 1960, he became a staff member of the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s archaeological expedition to the site of Old Testament Gideon in Jordan. In 1962, he joined the faculty at Bucknell and served as chair of the department from 1964-1969. Gerald was a member of the National Association of Biblical Instructors and the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis.
Gerald is survived by three sons, David Bainton (Susan), of Ellicott City, Maryland, Julian (Heather), of Austin, Texas and John, of Washington, D.C.; and by former wife, Lila Wang, of San Francisco, California. Also surviving are grandchildren, Sarah, Emily Shreve, Andrew Cooke, Gregory Cooke and Zora Ellis; and great-grandson, Isaac Moore. Gerald was preceded in death by brothers, Davey and Bruce; and by his former wife, Brigitte.
The family requests that any donations in memory of Gerald W. Cooke be made to Right Sharing of World Resources http://www.rswr.org, a Quaker micro-credit organization working in the developing world, or to a charity of the donor’s choosing.
Memorial service arrangements are pending.
On behalf of the entire Bucknell community, I extend our deepest sympathies to Gerald’s family, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.
John C. Bravman