Jim “Cooke” Morgan, age 70, a Fayetteville resident for over 15 years, passed away after midnight on Thursday, April 15th, with family members at his ICU bedside keeping vigil to the last heartbeat.
Born May 11, 1950 in Connecticut, educated for a short time in an iconic one-room schoolhouse in East Granby, he first had his eyes set on a professional baseball career. His rapid-fire pitching arm got the attention of scouts for the Philadelphia Phillies, but an off-season foot injury forced him to miss training and ultimately sidelined that future. Instead, he fell into radio by attending the Dick Robinson Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 1970. His first radio job was in the Hartford market at WINF in Manchester. That was the start of a 46-year broadcasting career in both radio and television. Such career took him to Hartford & New London in Connecticut; Springfield/Fall River/Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; San Antonio, Texas; Raleigh, NC; Buffalo, NY; Allentown & York, Pennsylvania; Fayetteville, NC. Overall, 21 stations in seven states. He held a remarkable No. 1 rating while at Q-106 and later at WYCR in York, Pa. As media personality “Jim Cooke,” he has been a music announcer, a shock jock at one time, a wedding DJ, half of the No.1 “Cooke & The Captain” and “Cooke & Crockett” teams, a PM Magazine host, and a stand-up comic. While employed in Raleigh at WRAL in the 1980’s, he was even a weatherman. Locally, radio listeners first became familiar with his voice on Christian station WCLN (then 107.3), and later on the Cumulus cluster: Oldies 106.9, am640 WFNC. He served as a local news source via Fayetteville Newsmakers, Fayetteville Focus and Good Morning Fayetteville, with Swap Shop being a down-home favorite on Saturday mornings.
He retired in January 2016 with a send-off at Waffle House, where regular folks and city officials wished him well. In the years following, he completed two books: one spiritual, one political. Their titles are: Witnesses to the Mighty Power of God, One Nation NOT Under God. In these same years, he served as a deacon and evangelist, reading the Bible daily. He shared his Christian walk with many ministries:
Stone Harbor Church, His Outreach Worldwide, Faith to Face and LifePoint Church, to name a few. His insatiable appetite for American history and Bible study led him to read many biographies & biblical summaries. To know Jim was to enjoy his company and his knowledge and of course, his humor; plus you learned he was an avid Jimmy Buffet concertgoer and a huge Buffalo Bills fan.
He has been preceded in death by his parents Joseph Francis Morgan and Virginia Anne Schremmer. His sister, Joanne, and husband, Richard Gwozdz, live in Massachusetts; his niece is Sarah married to Jason Gabrenas; his nephew is David Gwozdz.
He is survived by Dr. Linda, his partner in faith & in politics, and their pet family of dogs to include Chelsea, the parrot.
The Morgan family of four sons, and ten grandchildren resides in Pennsylvania and also in Texas. The sons (eldest to youngest) are: Casey, Dustin (Texas), Jesse, and Benjamin. Their wives are, respectively: Renee, Jackie Spangler (Texas)
Alysha, and Marcia. The grandchildren are: Chloe, Connor, Colleen, Aubrey, Carmela, Brooklyn, Landon, Caedyn, Belle and Bonnie. The extended family also includes former wife Holly Morgan Moul and husband Don Moul.
Much gratitude is expressed to the doctors & nurses that supervised the final hours in the ICU at Cape Fear Valley Health. Their compassion was extraordinary. Jim went to heaven embraced in prayer and love.
A special thank you also to Dr. Gary Garison, Dr. Michael Leke, Dr. Zeina Haddad, and Dr. Mark Eaton for their considerate acute care the past year and more. Special recognition to Fire Station #4 for their prompt rescues the past 3 years.
A Celebration of Life service officiated by Pastor Bill Hume will be held Saturday, May 1st, in the Rogers & Breece Chapel, 500 Ramsey St. Visitation with the family 1pm-2pm with the service commencing at 2pm.
An alternative to flowers would be donations in Jim’s memory to Better Health of Cumberland County.org or to the Karen Chandler Trust Fund, Inc.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jim "Cooke" Morgan, please visit our floral store.
Better Health of Cumberland County
1422 Bragg Blvd, Fayetteville NC 28301