DR. WILLIAM MARVIN COCKE JR. 1934-2021. Surgeon and Professor Emeritus of Medicine, William Marvin Cocke Jr., 87, passed away on Friday, November 19, 2021. His contributions to the field of medicine, quality of care for the treatment of his patients, leadership and teaching abilities, and acting as a positive role model to those who knew him will long be remembered.

Dr. Cocke was born in 1934 to William Marvin Cocke and Clara Bosley Cocke in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Cocke grew to be a standout in cross-country and track and field, earning an athletic scholarship to Texas A&M University, where he excelled in both running and academics. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, going on to Baylor College of Medicine, where he graduated with a Doctorate in Medicine in 1960. He completed his surgical internship at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Dr. Cocke continued his general surgery residency at Ochsner Clinic and Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, La. He then pursued his plastic surgery training at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center, New York, N.Y. In 1966, he became Captain in the United States Air Force, working for the former Wilford Teaching Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Prior to coming to Marshall University, Dr. Cocke developed the plastic surgery programs at Vanderbilt University, University of California-Davis and Texas A&M University. He was a member of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons and President of the WV Chapter of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Dr. Cocke was Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Marshall University Medical Center, Cabell Huntington Hospital and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. He remained at these positions until his retirement in 2014.

Dr. Cocke has made contributions to over 50 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and authored three textbooks on wound care, breast reconstruction and general plastic surgery. Dr. Cocke’s medical textbooks are found in medical libraries across the United States and Commonwealth countries and continue to be used in surgical instruction. He had a special interest in cleft palate repair and reconstructive surgery associated with facial cancer. Dr. Cocke’s professional societies and organizations include Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, American Association of Plastic Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, and Society of Head and Neck Surgeons.

Dr. Cocke’s professional passions were teaching, training and mentoring medical students, residents, fellows, nurses and doctors across the country. He received a Silver Scalpel Lifetime Teaching Award in 2008. The William Cocke, M.D., Mentorship Award was established in 2015 to be given to the graduating chief resident who exemplifies excellence in leadership in general surgery.

He loved and was devoted to his family and friends. He was a lifelong athlete including running, swimming and cycling. Running was one of his biggest passions, and he was proud to have coached the cross-country team at Vanderbilt University in 1968. He also enjoyed reading, watching Texas A&M football and Westerns, and traveling to Wyoming to hike in the mountains.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Thomas, and his sister, Joie. He is survived by his beloved wife of 40 years, Sue, and his seven children: Sons, William, Brian and Gregory; Daughters: Catherine, Deborah and her husband David, Laura and Julie. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Chapman’s Mortuary Inc. is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, December 4, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Huntington. A visitation celebrating his life will begin at 11 a.m. Contributions in Dr. Cocke’s memory may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, P.O. Box 61420, Staten Island, NY 10306 or at apda@apdaparkinson.org.

A committal service will be held at a later date in College Station, Texas, at the Aggie Field of Honor & Memorial Cemetery at Texas A&M University.

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