Rev. Dr. Joanne E. "Pep" Cooke


The Rev. Dr. Joanne E. "Pep" Cooke, 81, of East Peoria, Ill., former Methodist minister of RiversEdge United Methodist Church in Spring Bay, Ill., passed away at 1:18 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, at Riverview in East Peoria. She was born on March 9, 1933, in Mansfield, Ohio, to Joseph E. and Margery (Herbrand) Peppard. She married Cedric W. Cooke on June 10, 1976, in Bloomington, Ill. He died on April 12, 1984.Surviving are her sister, Mary Lou (Donald) Green of Mansfield, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.Pep was the first doctorate candidate and graduate in Education and Administration from Illinois State University in 1966. She received her bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and her MS from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. Pep taught high school and college in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. She later worked in college administration. In 1982, she was ordained as a Methodist minister. She served churches in Indiana and Illinois. She was an NCAA and IHSA official for volleyball, softball and basketball for many years.Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, at RiversEdge United Methodist Church in Spring Bay, with the Reverend Ray Harrison officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services. Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Lexington, Ill. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Chaddock Inc. Children's Home in Quincy, Ill., or Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Online condolences at