Robert R. Cocke was born in Liberty Hill, Texas, to Bob and Aline Mitchell Cocke on October 14, 1939. Robert was drafted into the Army in March 1963. He served two years and was stationed in Aschaffenburg, Germany.
Robert married Phyllis Long Cocke on February 24, 1963. Their daughter, Lisa, was born in October 1964 in Frankfurt, Germany. After two years in the army, Robert, Phyllis, and Lisa returned home to Lake Worth, Texas. With his oldest brother, Robert worked as a bricklayer. This was during a recession, and times were difficult. At a church picnic, a family friend who was a Fort Worth Firefighter suggested to Robert that he apply to the Fort Worth Fire Department. Robert applied, was hired, and enjoyed the job, friendship, and loyalty of his firefighter family. He was mentored by many veteran firefighters and encouraged to study and pursue rank. Over the years, Robert diligently studied and steadily rose in rank to become a battalion chief.
A son, Greg, a daughter, Jeanette, and a son, Randall, were added to the family. Robert and Phyllis were active in their church and in the local youth association. Robert served as president, softball commissioner, umpire, softball coach, and Pee Wee football coach.
Robert and Phyllis maintained a large garden with the help of their children. They never missed any junior high or high school games their kids played. They also attended all the college softball and basketball games, watching their daughters play. Vacations, camping, and fishing trips were a fun part of family life. Robert was forward thinking and purchased a video camera and a desktop computer when they first appeared on the market.
Robert was most respected by all the firefighters with whom he worked. In turn, he mentored many young firefighters. Robert was participating in a high-rise rescue training when he had a heart attack that led to his death. Robert was a man of integrity and principles and passed on these traits to his children.
He died on December 6, 1993, after serving 27 years with the Fort Worth Fire Department. Robert’s children honored his wishes and pursued college degrees. Greg, the oldest son, followed in his dad’s footsteps and became a Fort Worth firefighter after college graduation. Sadly, Greg also died in the line of duty in 2009 after an accident at the Fort Worth Fire Training Center.
Robert is remembered as a loving husband, a devoted dad, a faithful Christian, an esteemed and fair officer, and a true friend. As a family, we are constantly comforted by these characteristics.