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The End Of The Story




The Honolulu Advertiser

Friday Morning, May 19, 1939

      Ralph L. Cooke, superintendent of Kalaupapa Settlement, Molokai since July 1, 1925, when he succeeded the late Jack D. McVeigh, died at his offical quarters at Kalaupapa Wednesday night from a heart attack.

     Mr. Cooke was found dead in the bathroom of the superintendent's quarters at 8 a.m. yesterday. The body was brought to Honolulu by plane, arriving here shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday, and was taken to Williams' mortuary, where it may be placed on view after 7 p.m. today. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.


24 Years In Hawaii

     Born in Kentucky on July 22, 1887, Mr. Cooke was in his fifty-second year. He came to Hawaii with the radio department of the Mutual Telephone Co., Lrd., when he was named to the Molokai post by Dr. Frederick E. Trotter, then health board president and now territorial health commissioner.

     Mr. Cooke was originally appointed for a six-month period, and upon its conclusion the appointment was made permanent.

Would Have Retired

     During the recent session of the legislature a bill was introduced in the house of representatives providing a life pensionof $200 a month for Mr. Cooke, whose early retirement was at that time in view. It was then understood that the superintendent's health made advisable an early change of locality.

     Mr. Cooke was a Mason, Elk and a member of the American Legion. Surviving himis his wife, Mrs. Wilhelmina Cooke, who accompanied the body of her husband on the plane yesterday from Molokai to Honolulu. 


"Madam, My dear Friends:

During fourteen years Mr. Cooke was Superintendent of this Settlement. God has given all the gifts which conquer sympathy, an imposing stature, a sculptural head, a charming smile, a strong personality, and above all a natural gift of authority.

He knew how to command without hurting anybody. He suggested rather than commanded, and as Shakespeare said, "He enforced his suggestions more by his smile than by the sword".

He tried always to put out all motive of discord, to establish peace amongst us. (Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God.)

Occasions do not make men, but reveal them. I will always remember when the two Frenchmen were in distress, with what courage Mr. Cooke jumped into the little boat and seizing an oar, encouraged cheerfully those who went to save them at the peril of their lives.

His religion, he always said, was "The Golden Rule". It was true, and that is why today, we are all deeply moved at his sudden death.

May God be merciful to him. May God bless Mrs. Cooke, whose sweet rememberance amongst us will remain associated with him in our prayers, and in our hearts. May God bless his children, born amongst us. May God console them, with their mother, and strength accompany them during their lives with our constant gratitude.

Let us say for him the prayer of the Saviour, which unites all of us:


Kalaupapa, May 18th, 1939"

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