STEPHENVILLE – Services for Dr. Jesse Cocke, Jr. 76, were held May 26 at Stephenville Funeral Home Chapel with Masonic and Military graveside at Bartlett Cemetery. 

Jesse was born in Taylor to Jesse Cocke, Sr. and Sybil Griffin Cocke. He lived with his family in Bartlett, Texas through elementary and high school.

After high school graduation in 1960, Jesse attended Temple Junior College and graduated with the Associates of Arts Degree. After graduating from the University of Texas in 1965, he taught junior high life science in the Sweeney Independent School District for one year. With completion of active duty in the Medical Laboratory Corps of the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam conflict, he enrolled in Sam Houston State University in the fall of 1969. He married Shirley Ann Cummings on June 14, 1969, in Ocean Spring, Mississippi. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1973 at the rank of Sgt. He attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville where he received his Master’s degree in Entomology and wrote his doctoral thesis on the comparative brain cell cycles of two mosquito species. While attending Texas A&M University to obtain his doctorate, he taught classes in Entomology, and traveled to Africa to study effects of African sleeping sickness brought on by the tsetse fly. He earned his doctorate from Texas A&M in 1976.

He began working for Texas A&M Extension Service in Weslaco in 1977. He transferred to Texas A&M Stephenville Extension office in 1980. While he was employed with the Texas A&M extension service, Jesse invented and received a U.S. and Canadian patent for the LiquiDuster, a device that would distribute insecticide on livestock to control horn flies. This application proved extremely beneficial to cattleman and dairyman across Texas and beyond. Dr. Cocke also worked extensively with corn producers on research and development of insecticide regimens for farmers across Texas to combat the corn ear rootworm. He retired from the extension service in 1995 with a combined total of 34 years of service in a field of science that he loved and acted as a consultant with Texas A&M University several years after his retirement. 

Jesse was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of Stephenville Masonic Lodge #267, endowed member of the Waco Scottish Rite since 1990, and a member of the Bartlett First United Methodist Church.

He was happiest at his beloved deer camp in the woods of Coryell County or tinkering with various Ag and mechanical projects.  He dedicated his time on this earth serving others and was a friend to many. He had a great love for his family, but was especially proud of his grandchildren. Survivors include his wife, Shirley; daughter, Heather Dawn and husband Alan Ray Weihausen of Groesbeck; grandchildren, Chloe Brianna and Colby Ryan Weihausen; mother, Sybil Cocke of Bartlett; brothers, David Cocke of Temple and Dennis Cooke of China Spring; niece, Camron and husband Kerry McDonald, and their son, Rowan; and nephew, Travis Cooke.

Jesse was preceded in death by his father, Jesse Cocke, Sr. in 2010.

The Cocke family wishes expressions of sympathy be made in the form of donations in his name to Stephenville Masonic Lodge #267, 244 South Columbia St. Stephenville, TX 76401

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