It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Dr. Iain Cooke early on the morning of January 19, 2019. An accomplished academic, loving husband and father, passionate boater and musician, he lived life to the fullest during his 86 years.
Iain was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on August 1, 1932. In his youth, he played rugby and developed a love for rowing, the beginning of many years on the water. He focused his academic intellect to pursue a study of science at the University of Glasgow where he achieved a Bachelor of Science degree. During this time he also continued rowing at the university as a member of a highly successful crew. In his mid-twenties, Iain earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Birmingham.
It was in Glasgow where he met his love and future life partner, Louise. Riding a wave of global optimism, Iain and his new bride left Scotland on a steamship for a new life in Canada. Iain embarked on a new job as a physics professor at the University of Manitoba. His love of teaching would be a thread that wound throughout his life. They embraced life in Canada and Iain took up new pursuits like curling, canoeing and hunting and went on to build their dream house in Fort Garry and a cabin at Wallace Lake. He left the University of Manitoba as the Associate Dean of Physics in 1977 and moved his family, which had grown to four children, to the West Coast to pursue new challenges and a fresh lifestyle. Iain and Louise settled in Victoria where he reinvented himself as a computer programmer and entrepreneur. After a brief stint running his own private computer school, Dr. Cooke landed a position with the computing department at Camosun College where he worked until he retired in 1990s. As he eased into retirement, he enjoyed consultant work and sailing in places like Antigua and traveling to Greece and Panama.
Iain always dove headfirst into interests and hobbies. Because of his sensible and no-nonsense approach, he often ended up helping with the organization of any and every group he joined. He was a “can-do” guy who never shied away from bold decisions and big projects. He relished his time with clubs such as the Albineers, the Bridge Club, the Scottish Country Dance Society, Power Squadron, HAM radio group and the Arion Choir.
Time on the water was where Iain felt his greatest peace whether it was sailing and fishing on Wallace Lake, Manitoba, or spending lazy summers cruising the Pacific Northwest on their sailboat, the Anna Therese. Some of his proudest moments were singing with the choir and singing solos of his most cherished composers like Handel.
Iain is survived by his loving, devoted partner of 61 years, Louise; his sister, Irene (Wilson); his children, Fiona (Mark), Ross (Dhorea), Heather, and Bruce (Lisa); as well as his grandchildren, Sean, Chloi, Brendan, Keegan, Sebastian and Jossh.
His iron-will, superior intellect and passion for helping and teaching will be greatly missed by all those who knew him or were touched by his incredible life force.
A special thank-you to the wonderful people at the Sidney Care Home for their loving kindness and care.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life in Iain’s honour will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2019 in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Drive in Victoria. Condolences may be offered to the family below.