August 9, 1948 – August 10, 2020
August 9, 1948 – August 10, 2020
It is with great sadness that the family announces the sudden passing of their beloved, Byron Hart Cooke, in the Grace General Hospital, Winnipeg, MB on the morning of Monday, August 10, 2020 at the age of 72.
Byron was survived by his children - Wayne, Desmond, Byron Junior, Andrea, Crystal, and Tori. Five grandchildren – Kadeem, Deshawn, Nicholynn, Shiniko, and Alexia. Two sisters Clairgar and Maureen. He was predeceased by his parents Hebert and Nellie Cooke, Vera (sister), Junior and Bing (brothers).
Byron was the fourth of six children, his childhood days was spent in Little London, Westmoreland Jamaica. He moved to Kingston, Jamaica and worked at Coronation Bakery where he learned his baking skills. At age 22 he migrated to Bahamas, then to Bermuda. He moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba to join his brother (Junior). He started Braemar Bakery - village restaurant / night club / lounge and catering – Reggae Festival ‘Black-O-Rama’ among other successful ventures.
Byron once served as the president of the Jamaican Association of Manitoba Inc. He was a true leader / trail blazer / entrepreneur and collaborator. He enjoyed organizing parties and event planning. Byron never actually "retired" and always said he never would, and he was right about that!
Byron was passionate about life, loving and kind. His goal was to entertain all cultures with his many stories and endless jokes. He was great at bringing people of all class and cultures together and making them laugh due to his incredible sense of humour. Byron was indeed the life of the party.
Byron was a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, a grandpa, and a friend. We will truly miss all the moments we've shared, all the shared dreams and wishes, secrets, laughter, tears, and above all, each precious second will be treasured in our hearts forever.
Byron took the time, the time to stop and take an interest in us, the time to listen to our problems and help us find solutions, and most of all, the time to smile at us and show that he cared! Byron always said He will walk again. Now you're walking up there. We Love you Dad.
Byron’s family would like to take this opportunity to thank friends Sue Simcic and Kim Gawryluk for being there for him till the end. Thanks to Nina Felicioni a dedicated staff who worked with Byron for 22 years. Thank the staff and patrons at the Cindy Klassen Recreational Complex, formerly the Sargent Park Recreational Complex, for their support, encouragement, friendship and for giving Byron a purpose to serve and inspire / motivate those around him each day.
Thanks to Dr. Milner, Dr. Banagar, and Dr MacDonald from Cancer Care Clinic, and the Hematology department at the Health Science Centre for covering his treatments and tests over the years. Thanks to Dr. Cummings at the Meadowood Medical Centre located at 1555 St. Mary’s Road for being Byron’s committed Family Physician. Thanks to the home care team of care givers and nurses who covered his daily care routines and to ICU Physicians and nurses who cared for Byron during his final days at the Grace General Hospital, and to the Handi - transit team in Winnipeg. We sincerely appreciate you all. Thanks to all cultural communities for there continued support and well wishes expressed to Byron over the years.
In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place. A virtual memorial service via zoom will be held on August 22nd at 11:00 a.m. at the Grace Mount Zion Apostolic Church located at 5865 Coopers Avenue, Mississauga Ontario. In the meantime, Byron’s family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos and/or sharing your own memories and stories using the comment section on this page.
For those unable to watch the service live, a video recording of the service will be posted here on this page, as well as on the Jamaican Association Facebook, and Black O Rama sites.
There will be a celebration of Byron's life held, in Winnipeg, once the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided to the degree that it is safe for everyone to gather.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the following organizations – Diabetes Canada, Leukemia / Canadian Cancer Care Society, Kidney Foundation, MS Society, and Grace Mount Zion Apostolic Church. We thank you in advance for your generosity.
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