Obituary: Chester William Cooke – Portland Press Herald



Chester William Cooke

Chester William Cooke 1934 – 2021 TOPSHAM – Chester William Cooke, 86, passed away on Monday July 7, 2021 at Hill House Assisted Living in Bath, Maine. Son of Chester Sr. and Marjorie (Kay) Cooke, Chester, who passed by Bill often, was born in Wallingford, Connecticut on August 4, 1934. A former student of Choate School and Loomis School, he graduated from Bowdoin Middle School. in Brunswick, Maine, in 1957, where he was a member of the PSI UPSILON fraternity. Chester was an executive at New Haven Savings Bank and valuation consultant for Connecticut Savings Bank, retiring in 1992. Chester spent much of the year at his summer home in Round Pond, Maine. Music was one of his biggest interests, and for many years he volunteered as an editor for the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. Active at his beloved Bowdoin College, Chester served six years as a Class Officer for the Class of 1957. He was also a member of the Bowdoin Planned Giving Committee and mentored countless students. Residing in Wallingford and Stony Creek, Connecticut, he was active in the congregational church in both communities, while also being a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate Club of New Haven. He moved to Highland Greens in the Brunswick, Maine area in 2003. Beyond music, Chester had a passion for architecture and design. He was an avid collector of art and antiques and a frequent traveler to England. Chester’s circle of friends was vast and benefited from his incredible ability to nurture relationships across distance and years, ranging from childhood friends to recent Bowdoin graduates. Chester loved to give nicknames and he collected his throughout his journey, including Bill, Chet and his academic nickname, Buddha. With humble generosity and a sharp mind, he has impacted countless lives. His characteristic mischievous smile brought joy to those who knew him. Chester is survived by several cousins. By signing as only Bill could, “OK, goodbye!” To leave a note or share a memory, please visit All commemorative contributions can be made to the Cooke – Psi Upsilon Scholarship Fund, care of Bowdoin College, 4100 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011.

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