Obituary of Frank Girvan Cooke, Jr.
Frank Girvan Cooke, Jr. passed away on December 28, 2023 in Columbia, SC.
Frank was born in Charleston, SC and lived most of his life there. He was first generation in the United States as his father was born in Ireland. He attended Catholic schools graduating from Bishop England in 1960. He attended East Carolina University on a tennis scholarship and later attended the Baptist College. He met his wife of 53 years, Snappy, at the College of Charleston while playing tennis there during this time. They married Aug. 15, 1970. They had 2 children, Ashley and Frankie.
He was a force in Charleston area tennis for many years both as a player and as a leader in the development of tennis in the area. He grew Snee Farm Country Club from no program with 4 courts to a complex of 12 courts and a thriving all inclusive program. He was instrumental in developing play between clubs at A, B, C levels and later helping develop league play in the Charleston area. He also implemented the Grand Prix tournament, a fun format for all, that featured competitive play at all levels from 2.5 to 5.5. During this time, he took on the responsibilities of President of Heritage Village Condos taking that complex from financially failing to an updated thriving community.
After Snee Farm, he laid out a plan for a tennis program in Mt. Pleasant, SC developing the layout and program for the Whipple Road Complex that included play and teaching programs. At the same time, he was working in a company owned by his brother, John, and Frank, Commonwealth Finance, where he was Vice President.
While living in Charleston, Frank enjoyed all that Charleston had to offer: the downtown area with its beauty, history and fine restaurants. He enjoyed activities on the water, sailing with family and friends and taking trips on the intercostal waterway, motor boating in the harbor and in the inland waterways to the barrier islands with family and friends, fishing and shrimping as well. He was a competitive sailor, sailing in the yacht races in the Charleston Harbor. He also played tennis for fun and competitively in the State Senior Tournament reaching the finals in both the mens and the husband/wife divisions. He also later started playing golf with a group of buddies at Snee Farm.
In retirement, he moved to Columbia, SC where he enjoyed time on the lake spending the rest of the time at his beloved mountain home on Linville Mountain in Marion, NC where he enjoyed its serenity and scenery and enjoyed playing golf with the guys.
In his later years, many of these things were taken from him by Parkinson’s and it’s progression. But through it all, Frank remained upbeat trying always to win the battle no matter what Parkinson’s threw at him. His family was extremely proud of the strength and fortitude he showed in his fight against Parkinson's.
Frank was a mentor to many, producing many fine tennis players both young and older in the area. Many of these same students both young and old and others he associated with in his business ventures kept i n contact and remained very good friends throughout the years even though they were distances apart. He was kind, compassionate, passionate, competitive for sure, forgiving and a role model for so many. He was a good friend and brother, a great father and a wonderful husband. He will be missed by all who truly knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Snappy, his daughter, Ashley, her husband, Jason, their children, Connor, Apollo and Landon and his son, Frankie, his wife, Jen, and their son Dylan.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Parkinson’s Foundation in Frank’s name. Go to Parkinson’s Foundation Homepage. Choose Tribute Gifts. Then choose My Gift is in Memory of Someone and fill out the form. It can be completed online or the donation may be sent to: Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, Fl 33131
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
The South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above.
Proud Members Of