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Funeral services for Judge Charles Christopher "Kit" Cooke, III, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Field Street Baptist Church with the Rev. Larry Chambless officiating. Burial will follow at Rosehill Cemetery with Judge Wayne Bridewell, District Attorney Dale Hanna, Judge Roger Harmon, Judge Bill Bosworth, Carter Cooke, and Hunter Cooke serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be District Clerk David Lloyd, Judge Steve McClure, Judge Robert Mayfield, Judge John Neill, Judge Tiffany Strother, Judge Sydney Hewlett, Judge David Barkley, and Sheriff Adam King.
A public visitation for family and friends will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. Friday, January 6, 2023 at Rosser Funeral Home.
Judge C. C. Cooke was born on July 6, 1947, to Charles C. Cooke, Jr., and Betty Jean Cooke. He was born in the C. C. Cooke Hospital and delivered by his grandfather, Dr. C. C. Cooke.
Judge Cooke graduated from Cleburne High School in 1965. He attended Baylor University and received his B.A. degree. He was accepted into Baylor Law School at the age of 19. While he was attending Baylor Law School he married Barbara Langston of Dallas on August 22, 1969. She worked at the Veterans’ Administration and put him through his last year of law school. Judge Cooke received a Juris Doctor from Baylor Law School and was licensed to practice law in May, 1970. Judge Cooke opened an office for the practice of law, and his wife Barbara was his first secretary.
Judge Cooke’s first government job was Assistant City Attorney, City of Cleburne, handling the municipal court docket.
In 1972, Judge Cooke was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, District 33. He was only 24 years old.
In 1974, Judge Cooke began his first judicial office by being elected County Judge of Johnson County. He was 26 years old, and the youngest County Judge in Texas.
In 1977, Governor Dolph Briscoe appointed Judge Cooke, at the age of 30, as the first judge of the newly created 249th District Court. He was the youngest District Judge in Texas.
From 1984 to 1988, he served as visiting judge across the state of Texas and became a specialist in trying capital murder cases.
In 1988, Judge Cooke was elected Judge of the 18th District Court, where he served until his retirement in 1998.
After retirement, he was a Senior District Judge until his death. He served across the state, handling difficult cases that required complex decisions.
Judge Cooke was the first District Judge in Texas to become a Board Certified specialist in Criminal Law. Judge Cooke lectured extensively on Capital Murder trials for the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Judiciary. Judge Cooke was also called upon to lecture to all criminal judges in the state of New York on death penalty procedure. He spoke three different times to the New York Criminal Judiciary. Judge Cooke was also the author of the “Cookebook,” a trial manual for the trying of capital murder cases.
Judge Cooke was past president of the Johnson County Bar Association and was a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He was the statewide chairman of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for the State Bar of Texas.
At Judge Cooke’s retirement, the Johnson County Commissioners Court named FM 3048 “The C.C. Cooke Parkway” in Judge Cooke’s honor.
In 2009, the Cleburne Independent School District named Judge Cooke the “Wall of Fame” recipient, given to outstanding Cleburne High School graduates.
Judge Cooke was active in civic affairs. He was Outstanding Young Man of Cleburne; Chairman, United Way of Johnson County; Chairman, Cancer Crusade; District Committeeman of the Boy Scouts of America; Outstanding Professional Man-Soil Conservation District, Johnson County; Cleburne Pee Wee Football President; Cleburne Little League Baseball Commissioner, and Cleburne Little Dribblers Commissioner. He was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, Moslah Shriner, and a member of Cleburne Lodge 315 AF&AM.
Judge Cooke was a member of Field Street Baptist Church since 1953, having served as Chairman of the Personnel Committee, Interim Youth Minister, and Sunday School teacher.
Judge Cooke is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dr. Barbara Cooke of Cleburne; his son, Christopher Chandler Cooke and wife, Patricia, of Burleson; two grandsons, Carter Christopher and Hunter Kincaid; three granddaughters, Vivienne Rose, Genevieve Elle, and Adelaide Eloise, all of Burleson; one brother, Judge Bill Cooke and wife Tammy of Killeen; one sister, Lisa Cooke Dobbins and husband Marine Lt. Col. Richard E. Dobbins of Burleson; one nephew, Doug Dobbins and wife Laura of Visalia, California, and one niece, Vicky Cooke Johnson and husband Brian and their two daughters Annabelle and Ruby, all of Belton.
Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.
Friday, January 6, 2023
6:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)
Rosser Funeral Home
Saturday, January 7, 2023
2:00 - 3:00pm (Central time)
Field Street Baptist Church
Saturday, January 7, 2023
3:45 - 4:30pm (Central time)
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