Alan “Al” Daves Cooke

June 20, 1944 ~ May 17, 2019

Cooke, Alan 1962

This world lost an honest man, Alan “Al” Daves Cooke, 74, on Friday, , May 17, 2019, after he collapsed in his Sioux Falls home.

We will be Celebrating his life and the gifts that he has given us with an open house, on Friday, May 24, 2019, at the Willow Run Clubhouse from 4-6pm. Military Honors will be at 5pm.

When Alan was born on July 20, 1944, his father was stationed with a docked ship in the port of San Diego. The hospital records were shattered after they measured his head circumference, earning him his first nickname, “The Little Marine.” That oversized noggin, twinkling blue eyes, and saucy, dimpled smile marked a happy man. It probably didn’t hurt his general outlook on life to grow up with some privilege in a 1950’s Midwestern town. Alan, Al, Big Al, Ace, AC, AC Delco, Cookie, Cookie Monster, ect. Al managed to keep collecting friends that cherished him enough to keep those nicknames coming. It was a natural impulse at work as he crafted new yet endearing names for all of us that crossed paths with him.

During the first five years of Alan’s life, he was raised by his grandmother on a farm in Illinois. His memories from this time were sweet and loving. Then he joined his parents, Chester and Alice, and his brother Leroy as they established the Dairy Queen business in Sioux Falls. The Argus Leader began chronicling his golf successes, like his first hole-in-one at age 11. During junior high, he started spending the winters in Texas, so that he could practice the game year round. In Sioux Falls, he was part of the Washington High Class of 1962. During these times, his talent and ability gave him some legendary status, as demonstrated in the following, summarized by Tom Jansa, PGA Executive Director.

“Alan Cooke won the SDGA Match Play Championship in 1963 and 1964, reached the semifinals two other times and was the medalist on four occasions when qualifying was held over 36 holes. He was voted South Dakota Independent Athlete of the Year by the SD Sportswriters Association in 1964. Cooke played in the U.S. Junior Championship three times and also reached the semifinals of the Western Junior Championship. He represented South Dakota three times in the International Jaycee Junior Championship during the 1950s. He made the 36-hole cut each time in one of the most prestigious junior tournaments of that era. While at Washington High School in Sioux Falls, Cooke won the individual title twice in the state high school championships and also played on three championship teams.”

Al Cooke: Friend, Teacher, Student, Hall of Famer

His first son, Sean was born while Al was designing and setting up the course near Pickstown, SD. By the time his daughter Lisa came a year later, Al was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. He continued to be part of the Army’s efforts during the Vietnam Conflict though the birth of his youngest son, Jason, in Lawton, OK. Alan’s family history is rich with military service. His middle name, Daves, was his mother Alice’s maiden name. Searching back through this country’s history, there has perpetually been a Daves in uniform and in battle, such as Dighton Daves in the Civil War and John Daves in the Revolutionary War.

Alan had strong opinions, which he provided freely. From the putting green to Yellow Cab confessional, from the library to the Sunshine Diner, he would find a way to connect with his fellow human beings. But his thoughtfulness and ability to constantly question and listen to others and learn from them, made him what some might call a scientist or a philosopher. He would walk around with a book in one hand and his glasses drooping off of his nose, ready to share. Our hope is that those memories of Al the teacher, and Al the student, shall resonate as the ripples of vibrations that helped life make more sense.

Alan is survived by his family including his children, Sean Cooke, Reno, NV, Lisa (Joe) Shobe, Penryn, CA, Jason (Kelly) Cooke, Denver, CO, and Jessica Hass, Sioux Falls; twelve grandchildren, Christian and Connor Cooke, Reno, NV, Destinee Taylor, Sioux Falls, SSgt John Charles Hanson, Misawa, Japan, Alicia, Jack, Joey, and Jude Shobe, Penryn, CA, Sam, Kaden and Jax Cooke, Denver, CO, and Zayda Hicks, Sioux Falls; one great-grandson, Ezra Lowell; siblings, John, and Jack, Jacqueilin, and Leslie Cooke, Brownsville, TX; as well as beloved nieces and nephews.

Alan is preceded in death by his father, Chester Cooke; his mother, Alice Cooke; and his brothers, Gary Cooke and Glen Cooke.

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  • Pat Lockwood says:

    So sorry to hear about Al’s passing. A golfing great and a good hearted person. RIP Al!

  • Z. Larsen says:

    Our sympathies go out to Alan’s family. Mother Alice would likely have shared that gift of faith through Christ’s death on the cross brings forgiveness of our rebellion to God , and new life by His Resurrection. Christ defeated our final enemy of death as eternal separation from God. Praying this truth draws Alan’s family together by God’s Holy Sprite in reconciliation to God and each other at this time of loss to bring healing collectively and where needed, individually.

  • C. Tibbetts (Bucciarelli) says:

    Sorrowful for the loss of Al. He was a an honest man and a great friend. He was a a part of my family since I was a young girl. Always great conversation and many laughs. We were lucky to have him join us for holidays for more “lively” conversation and laughs. We will miss him. I know my brother certainly will. Condolences to his family. RIP Al, well deserved.

    “growing old ain’t for sissies.” Thank you. I still use that line today.

  • G Dereu says:

    I took a few lessons from Al at Elmwood.He could always straighten me out.I watched him play a few tournaments and I thought he was a very good player.

  • Barnett Jr. says:

    I grew up about a block from Kuehn Park GC. No houses around the GC at that time, AC was the Pro, I was 13 yrs old, it was 1990. I collected balls from outside fences of the course. Tried to sell them on in egg cartons to people coming to play. Went in to use the bathroom, and asked Al if he just wanted to buy them instead of me sitting out there all day. His response was “why don’t you just come work for me” and of course I was giddy with the offer. That encounter made all the difference in my life, brought me in touch with many business people and provided a job all the way through graduate school. He was my mentor, and I’ll be forever grateful. AC, one more game of 7 up when we connect next please, still plenty of light. Max Barnett, Jr.

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