James A. Cooksey
James A. Cooksey
  • December 28, 1935 - August 8, 2017
  • Winter Springs, Florida

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James A. (Buck) Cooksey passed away peacefully at home on August 8th at the age of 81. Buck was born in Waukeenah, Florida on December 28, 1935. Growing up on a farm, he drove his first tractor at the age of 5, and learned the value of a hard day’s work early on. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his four brothers and swimming in the Wacissa River.

Buck proudly served in the US Air Force. During his service he was stationed in England, Virginia, Germany, Georgia, Alaska, Kansas, and Thailand, returned to England again, and then ended his service in North Carolina where he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant with an honorable discharge. He served just shy of 23 years. Along the way he received many promotions, ribbons and awards, including the Bronze Star. An excerpt from one of his Performance Reports read: “SMsgt Cooksey is without a doubt one of the most superbly talented senior NCOs in the Air Force. He is one of the Wing’s most outstanding senior NCOs, both versatile and capable . . .” and they all read likewise.

For the next 20 years he built a successful security business, Central Florida Alarm (CFA), with his wife Norma. Buck was known for his strong work ethic, integrity and sheer determination. With no prior business or sales experience, these qualities were key to his success. He set high standards for all his employees, but held himself to an even higher standard. He sold his business in 1997 and retired for good. His daughter Debbie still works there today. In fact, all of his family worked for CFA at some point.

Buck was a trooper on many fronts. He suffered a heart attack in his early 40s, had coronary bypass surgery twice, and then surgery and treatment for esophageal cancer. He was in the lucky 5% who survive the disease and its treatment. Even in the not so good times, he was a true soldier, facing the unknown head on and pushing through. He was an inspiration to us all, and went on to enjoy many more years.

In retirement, he enjoyed time with family and being outdoors gardening. He grew okra, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, blueberries and lemons and trimmed his hedges with military precision! Buck always loved country music, particularly Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, and Monday night football. He also dabbled in golf and enjoyed the occasional hunting trip or visit with his brothers Paul and Gene.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys and Fred Cooksey, and two brothers, Robert and Franklin Cooksey of Waukeenah, Florida.

Buck is survived by his loving wife Norma, daughters Debbie Alonso and Karen Lindell, three grandchildren, Marissa, Alexis, and Brandon, and two brothers, Paul and Eugene Cooksey, all of whom reside in the State of Florida. As a beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, he will be dearly missed.

No matter what, when asked how he was doing he would reply “I’m doing the best I can with what I have” . . . and he did!

Friends are invited to attend his Memorial Service:, Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 10:00am at Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home, 7520 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32792. Inurnment with Military Honors will follow at All Faiths Memorial Park, Casselberry, Florida.