Obituary of William T. Cocke III
AIKEN, SC—William T. Cocke III, age 76, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at home. He was much loved by family and friends and was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many.
Tom was born to the late William T. Cocke Jr., a WWII casualty, and Lilian Martin. He was reared by a loving mother and stepfather, Joseph L. Ritterskamp. He was a graduate of North Carolina State University and earned a degree in engineering. Tom spent many years as an oceanographer at the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office and then as a general engineer at the Bureau of Mines. He ended his government career as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State.
Tom made his home in Maryland for over forty years before moving to Aiken three years ago to be nearer family. He was a member of the Aiken Senior Men’s Club and active in Special Olympics in support of his daughter, Christina. Tom always had fond memories of fishing trips with his fishing buddies. He dearly loved his children and grandchildren.
In addition to parents, Tom was preceded in death by a brother, Steven Ritterskamp. He is survived by his devoted wife of fifty years, Mary S. Cocke; three daughters, Rebecca Howard (Adam), La Plata, MD, Christina Cocke, Aiken SC, and Samantha Hanna (Matthew), Aiken, SC; and a son, Joshua Cocke, Charleston, SC. He also leaves two brothers, Edward Cocke (Betty) and John Ritterskamp of Florida and many cousins, especially Estelle Luter. Grandchildren include Logan Howard, Shelby Hanna, Rori Hanna, and Justin Hanna.
The family will receive friends Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 1:00 – 1:45 PM at George Funeral Home in downtown Aiken.
A Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 2:00 PM Thursday, January 10, 2019 at the old historic St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church, Park Ave., Aiken, SC, with The Very Rev. Father Gregory Wilson as celebrant.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Capital Campaign for St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church, P.O. Box 438, Aiken, SC 29802 or FOTAS (Friends of the Animal Shelter), P.O. Box 2207, Aiken, SC 29802.
The Historic George Funeral Home, 211 Park Ave., SW, Aiken, SC 29801 (803.649.6234), has charge of arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy for the Cocke family may be left by visiting www.georgefuneralhomes.com
211 Park Avenue, SW
Fax (803) 648-6150