Edward A. Cooke, 81, who operated Cooke Insurance Agency in Silver Spring from 1964 until selling it in 1984, died of complications from a series of strokes Nov. 3 at his home in Gaithersburg.
He lived in Silver Spring from the 1950s until 1990, when he moved to Gaithersburg.
Mr. Cooke, a native Washingtonian, was a 1939 graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School.
He served in the Army in Europe during World War II and retired from the Army Reserve in 1974 as a lieutenant colonel. Among his decorations were a Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.
He worked as a claims adjuster for the Motors Insurance Corp. in the 1940s and 1950s and joined the Palmer Insurance Agency in Silver Spring in 1958.
He served as president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Montgomery Prince George and of the Independent Insurance Agents of Maryland. He also was an officer of the Independent Insurance Agents of America.
He was a member of the Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department in the 1940s and 1950s. He joined the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department in 1958 and served as the president of its board of directors in the 1960s, when the department hired its first full-time paid chief. Mr. Cooke also instituted the department's awards program.
He was inducted to the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Association Hall of Fame in 1984.
Mr. Cooke was president of the Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce in 1969 and 1970 and was a member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Silver Spring Rotary Club.
He ran unsuccessfully in 1966 for the Montgomery County Council and in 1974 for the Republican nomination for the District 20 House of Delegates seat.
Mr. Cooke was a member of Derwood Bible Church and had been a member of Knox Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring.
His wife of 48 years, Charlotte Hancock Cooke, died in 1996.
Survivors include two daughters, Nancy Keegan of Washington and Virginia Stone of Laurel; two sons, Robert, of Gaithersburg, and Thomas, of Damascus; and eight grandchildren.