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Barbara Murray Cooke

Madison, North Branford

Published June 12, 2019

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Barbara Murray Cooke died June 10 in North Branford at the age of 95. Born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1924, she attended Hartridge School in Plainfield, New Jersey, and graduated from Westfield High School. She worked at Macmillan Publishing and then served in the US Marine Corps Women’s Reserve 1944 to 1945, before matriculating at Mount Holyoke. She married Edward Strong Cooke in 1948.

They resided in South Orange and Morristown, New Jersey, before moving to Lakeville in 1960, when Ted took a development position at the Hotchkiss School. In 1969 he accepted a job with the Yale University Alumni Fund, and they moved to Madison. There Barbara worked as an assistant librarian at the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library for 17 years before retiring. They also maintained a summer home in Blue Hill, Maine. In 2002 they moved to Evergreen Woods in North Branford, where Ted died in 2005.

Throughout her life Barbara was kind and gentle to her family and all those around her. Her children were especially proud that she served her country as a Marine and earned a sharpshooter medal. She always drew on that strength to help her offspring weather difficult times. She readily acknowledged those in her community, sincerely asking about their families and their lives. Later in life, she also became an avid Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. She will be sadly missed by all those who knew her.

A proud and loving matriarch, Barbara is survived by three children, Allison Cooke Brown (Blake) of Yarmouth, Maine, Catherine Cooke Lux (Chip, who predeceased her) of Philadelphia, and Edward Strong Cooke, Jr., (Carol) of New Haven; as well as seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held in New Haven later in the summer. To sign the online guestbook, please visit

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