Joy Celene Garrison Cocke

Joy Celene Garrison Cocke

Joy Cocke passed away on Sunday, February 9, 2020, in Kerrville, Texas.  She was born on July 20, 1928, in Harlingen, Texas, to Eugene Pete Garrison and Roberta Dee Johnson.  She married James Robert Cocke on November 27, 1958, in Harlingen, Texas. 

Joy spent her early life living in the Stuart Place/Adams Garden areas, graduating from Harlingen High School in 1945 and attending South Texas University in San Marcos.

Professionally, she hosted a 30-minute live television show, “Valley Home,” when she was Executive Director of the Rio Grande Valley Homebuilder’s Association. She is remembered for serving four years as the first Social Directress of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, and taught Business Etiquette for several years at the Harlingen Business College. 

She was actively involved in the community while raising her five active children and partnering with an executive husband as he built one of the largest companies in the Valley.

Her community service included membership in the Harlingen Junior Service League. In the mid 1980s, she was honored by being inducted as a Fellow of H.M. Smith Hall of Fame at the Marine Military Academy.

Raised as a Baptist, she was confirmed at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in 1959. She loved the fact that she was, in later years, inducted into the “Daughters of the King,” an order for women who are communicates of the Episcopal Church.

Joy was the third generation of a Harlingen pioneer family. Her grandfather, R.H. “Bob” Johnson, was Harlingen’s first Chief of Police in 1927. Prior to his service as a peace officer, he served as a Texas Ranger. 

Her pioneer spirit showed in her love of hunting and fishing. Joy was an excellent sports woman, who was highly respected in the field of big game hunting and wing shooting.  She and her husband went on many safaris in Africa, taking many friends and family members there to share their love of the people, culture and animals.

Joy was preceded in death by her parents, Pete and Roberta Garrison; and by her firstborn son, Guy Staton Cocke, who died April 26, 1975. She is remembered by the family for the grace and charm she showed during that loss and the strength she provided to others.

Joy is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Jimmy Cocke; her children, Cindy Cocke Sutton, Gayle Cocke, Shelley K. Cocke and Cinco Cocke and his wife, Cookie. Her siblings, whom she loved very much, include Jean Allgood, Jacque Speck, and Buddy Garrison and his wife, Doris, all of whom live in the Kerrville area.

Her beloved grandchildren include Garrison and Julie Sutton, Duncan and Jodi Sutton, Hill and Evyn Cocke, Sarah and Caleb Truax, Sydney and Jordan Grier, Savannah Cocke and Marshall Cocke. She delighted in having nine precious great-grandchildren, who called her “Missy.”

The family has planned two memorial services, the first in Kerrville, Texas, on Saturday, February 15, 2020, and the second service to be held in Harlingen, Texas, on Friday, February 28, 2020.

Viewing and visitation with the Cocke and Garrison family will be held at Grimes Funeral Chapel in Kerrville, Texas, on Saturday, February 15, 2020, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. A memorial service will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 12 noon in Kerrville, with the Rev. Scott Brown and the Rev. Bert Baetz officiating. 

In Harlingen, the memorial service will be at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church on Friday, February 28, 2020, with the Hon. Bishop David Reed and the Rev. Tom Murray officiating. A reception with the family will follow in the Parish Hall. 

Honorary pallbearers for the memorial services are Trudie Abbott, Billie Marie Randolph, Frank Boggus, Connye Busa, Billy Busa, Bobbie Peace, Charlotte Powers, Greg Powers, Tom Clowe, Louise Scott, Russell Bentley, Dial Dunkin, Dr. John Tucker and Dr. John Ferris.

The family kindly requests that memorials be given to St. Alban’s Episcopal Day School or to the charity of choice. 

Joy’s family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Peterson Palliative & Hospice Care, Dr. Eugene Clayton and most especially her caregiver, Veronica Lesonik.

The family invites you to send condolences to:  by selecting the “Send Condolences” link on the webpage.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville, Texas, and the Heavenly Grace Memorial Park, La Feria, Texas.