Amherst mourns a true gentleman

Darrell Cole
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Cooke died after a brief illness

Don Cooke, who was honoured during African Heritage Month as an unsung hero, died early Thursday.

AMHERST – The community has lost a huge friend and supporter with the passing early Thursday of Don Cooke.

“It’s sad day for our family and for the community and friends of Donnie,” Cooke’s sister Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu said. “We’re getting flooded with calls today with stories and condolences. We know he had lots of friends. It’s a really sad day.”

Cooke-Sumbu said family was up to see him on Wednesday night, but complications associated with the pancreatic cancer that he was diagnosed with three weeks ago set in and he died early in the morning.

“We spent some time with him and he called at 11 last night wanting to know how the kids were. We were heading up early this morning when we got the call,” she said.

Cooke was honoured earlier this year during African Heritage Month, being named one of six unsung heroes who make a difference in their community.  He was recognized as someone who has been a role model and mentor and someone who would help those in need, stand up for justice and equality and have a positive impact on the community – often without recognition.

“It was so nice for him to receive that honour,” she said. “He’s the kind of guy that does a lot of things for people in the community and he never looked for anything in return. You could call Donnie and at the drop of the hat he’d be there, whether it was food, or clothing or money.”

A Facebook site was set up Thursday for friends to give tributes.

“Donnie, you are a part of us all. We will remember you everytime we take a breath, love you always,” Donna Chapman wrote on the site.

Jennifer Kathleen Morris Cormier said he’s going to be deeply missed by his friends.

“A gentle soul, a kind spirit, a true gentleman and always with a smile for everyone,” she said.


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Patti Haylock
    September 04, 2012 - 11:08

    As I scroll through the comments, here and on facebook, I realize that this man touched literally hundreds, if not thousands of lives. Everyone who met him was honoured with a smile and a generosity that knew no bounds..You were a great man Donnie Cooke... our community could use a lot more like you....Till we meet again....Sincere condolences to the family...

  • Bob Patton
    August 31, 2012 - 23:04

    will miss you Donnie, R.I.P. my friend.

  • Lori Chappell
    August 31, 2012 - 22:31

    RIP were a awesome friend. Lori Chappell

  • Sharon Kaye
    August 31, 2012 - 19:32

    Known Donnie for years, more so in our younger years. He was such a gentle caring child/man. My heart hurts knowing we have lost a wonderful, loving man. God be with you on your journey home Donnie.

  • larry allen
    August 31, 2012 - 16:02

    Donnie like his family, a true friend and an extraoridary man who exemplified the meaning of a friend, and a friend who will be truly missed, sad day for all who knew him and his heart. God Bless You Friend, R.I.P. will not forget you..

  • Steve and Wanda
    August 31, 2012 - 12:03

    Amherst has suffered a great loss and a dear friend to all that knew Donnie. RIP big man,you will be missed.Thoughts and prayers to Donnie's family.

  • Debra Phee
    August 31, 2012 - 07:48

    Donnie you were the type of man that always thought of others before your self even on your death bed. You were one of the special ones and have left a special mark on this otherwise greedy world you will be missed but forever loved and remered.

  • Debra Phee
    August 31, 2012 - 07:48

    Donnie you were the type of man that always thought of others before your self even on your death bed. You were one of the special ones and have left a special mark on this otherwise greedy world you will be missed but forever loved and remered.

  • John Garrett
    August 31, 2012 - 07:15

    You're going to be missed my friend.

  • Byron Gero
    August 31, 2012 - 00:11

    Farewell good friend. Rest in peace! We've been friends since childhood. Although the years have passed, I'll always remember your smiling face and happy go-lucky attitude towards life. I will never forget you.

  • Jeanette Harrison macdonald
    August 30, 2012 - 21:54

    It was only a few weeks ago Donnie dropped into work and started talking to me about my dad,he talked about when he was younger how him and his dad used to visit with my dad and how they used to always have their tea and a cookie,we had a great chat,he will be missed by many,love to his family..

  • Alberta Foster
    August 30, 2012 - 21:03

    We are very sorry for your loss. Robert & Alberta Foster Amherst

  • Lorne Izzard
    August 30, 2012 - 20:17

    Donnie had the Grace and kindred spirit of his Mother that is why the tributes are of his loyalty to friends and family always looking out for the other guy true friend to my cousin Beaver at all times and a spirit that was passed to him by his mom the fa,ily can be blessed knowing they are together once again RIP Donnie

  • Willard Hudson
    August 30, 2012 - 19:40

    I was sorry to her of Donnie's condiion. I just heard last week. It's very sad for a person so young to pass on soo earily.

  • Lynne Rushton
    August 30, 2012 - 18:35

    AH, Donnie such good times, so many memories. Your voice, smile and kindness etched in my sole, RIP dear friend, going home for vacation will never be the same. May God Bless the ones you have left behind in this time of sadness

  • peter gilroy
    August 30, 2012 - 16:29

    a great story, he is going to be missed by many , always a big smile , a true loss to our community, keep them smiling up there Donnie , your friend pete.

  • Christina McCarron
    August 30, 2012 - 16:15

    In 1980 I moved from Amherst to Halifax to live on my own for the first time. Donnie assisted in packing up his truck with my belongings and transporting everything to Halifax. I remember his laugh and his winning personality. My condolences to his family.

  • David
    August 30, 2012 - 16:00

    My thoughts are with the family, Donnie will be missed dearly. He was a great man and would give the shirt off his back for anyone, even a stranger

  • Wanda & Paul St Peter
    August 30, 2012 - 15:39

    A sad day today, Donnie you will be missed, such a good man. My heart goes out to all his family.

    • Doris-Walter Terris
      August 30, 2012 - 20:57

      he was 1 of the great men of Amherst, i must say, and the town has lost him and heaven has gained another angle he will look down from above and watch over us from there RIP big man u will be greatly missed

    • Susan Rafuse
      August 31, 2012 - 19:55

      Donnie was a man true to his word,I had called him on several ocassions needing tows here and there,he got cars from me ,and this one time Donnie owed me,so when i needed another of his tow jobs,he remembered that he had owed me and gave me a freebee....Donnie will always be remembered for his honesty and kind heart...condolences to his family xoxo