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Man of Courage

“Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Anyone who knew Tony Cooksey, couldn’t help but be impacted and touched by his faith, his courage and his undying love for those he loved most. Everyone who met him has a story of their encounters with him… and those who even knew him briefly remember him as a great man…
A  man of honor…
A man of courage…

I’m sure over the days and weeks to come, stories will emerge that have yet to be told of his impact… So as I write and collect my thoughts, I will share mine.

My favorite times spent at the Cooksey home have been at their kitchen table with a cup of chai in hand… Who would’ve thought Sherry would surpass my chai-making skills when I spent time in India learning how to make it! (haha) Whatever she does, it warms the heart and the taste buds!:)

It’s been around that very table that Tony and Sherry sat with me sharing chai, sharing dinner, ….but mostly sharing their lives… and stories of their love and the hand of God at work in their family…

It’s at that table where Sherry and I sat rolling in laughter and Tony would come in to calm us down…

And today, as I sit at the same table with Sherry and a chai, I feel as if I’m waiting for him to come in again. To tell us to be quiet… but today there’s few words.

There’s worship music, there’s pictures we’re collecting and then there’s tears.

It’s hard to believe 3 months ago we were at Atlanta Botanical Gardens taking pictures and celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and being cancer-free… And last night it was that very cancer that took him to Heaven.

As I sit here and think of a million questions I could be asking God, I can’t … I can’t focus on the things I can’t understand on this earth.

I have to focus on what I do know… and what I do know that in all of this, is that God is faithful.

He is sovereign and He still has a plan.

We will grieve at the loss of Tony, but not as those who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

We know that today, Tony is in the presence of Jesus.

We know that today, Tony is healed.

He is pain-free.

And what we have left today of Tony is an amazing legacy that he left behind : His family, his name, and his heart in those who knew and loved him best.

I was honored to spend a lot of time with the Cooksey family the past three months… and they allowed me to take some photographs that tell the story of this family’s faith and love for one another in what I’m sure was the most difficult time of their lives.

They laughed, they cried and in it all trusted God.

Here is a compilation of some of the memorable times they shared.. from Bryan and Emily’s engagement day, to when he was able to watch their wedding via iPad, to his last days with his family and their prayer times they shared.

Today we remember an honor a man of faith, a man of courage.


“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

Kimberly Hood Higgins - September 9, 2012 - 7:38 pm

Beautiful Danielle thank you for sharing with everyone and I am so thankful that Emily was brought into the Cooksey family and that he loved Emily and had a great impact on her as she and our family have shared much loss of our loved ones and the he was apart of Bryan and Emily’s wedding before going home to Jesus. Yes God still has a plan.

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