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Lady Cooke is dead

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

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Lady Cooke died yesterday, five weeks shy of the third anniversary of the passing of her husband, former Governor General Sir Howard Cooke on July 11, 2014.Lady Cooke was 100 years old when she passed at Andrews Memorial Hospital where her husband also died at the age of 98.

Late yesterday evening, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen expressed “great sadness” at her passing, describing her as “a gracious person whose social engagements and ease of manner enhanced the work of Sir Howard”.

“Her love for and work among children distinguished her as a major contributor in the field of child development,” the governor general said. “Her role in national development through education, culture and agricultural initiatives will forever be an important part of the King's House legacy.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, too, expressed regret at Lady Cooke's passing and stated that she was an outstanding educator who held several leadership positions in the education field.

“Lady Cooke served the nation well. She was passionate about education, child development and guidance counselling,” the prime minister said in a press release.

He extended “sincere condolence” to her family and friends, adding that “during this difficult time, I pray they will be comforted by the wonderful memories they shared with her”.

Ivy Sylvia Lucille Tai was born on June 27, 1916. She married Howard Cooke, at the time a teacher, on July 22, 1939. The union produced two sons — Justice Howard Fitz-Arthur Cooke, puisne judge; and Richard Washington McDermott Cooke, hotelier — and one daughter, Audrey Faith Cooke, a consultant in international affairs.

Lady Cooke served with her husband at King's House from August 1, 1991 when he was sworn in as Independent Jamaica's fourth governor general until 2006 when he retired from public service.

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