Howard Harrison Cooksey – Lieutenant General, United States Army

We are saddened to announce that Howard Harrison Cooksey, 78, retired Army lieutenant general and decorated combat veteran in three wars, died December 22 of a vascular disease at the Fairfax retirement community in Fort Belvoir.

General Cooksey was born in Brentsville, Virginia, and raised in Manassas. He was deputy chief of staff for research, development and acquisition when he retired in 1978.

His combat duties as an infantry officer were with the 158th Regimental Combat Team in the Philippines in World War II, the 7th Infantry Division in the Korean War, and as a general officer, with the American Division and the 1st Regional Assistance Command in Vietnam. He qualified as a paratrooper in 1958.

Other military assignments were with General Douglas MacArthur's honour guard during the occupation of Japan and with the 2nd Battle Group, 6th Infantry Division, in Berlin. He was also assistant professor of military science at Drexel Institute in Philadelphia and commanding officer at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

For ten years after his retirement, General Cooksey was president of the Cooksey Corporation, a military consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia.

He owned and operated two farms near Independence, Virginia, for 12 years. In 1986, he moved to Berryville, Virginia, where he served on the Clarke County Planning Commission for four years. He was also president of the Lions Club, chairman of the board of Grafton School for autistic children, , and a member of the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of Retired Officers Association.

A 1943 graduate of Virginia Tech, he earned a master's degree in foreign affairs from George Washington University in 1964. He served on the board of directors of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association for ten years.  An active Episcopalian, he served as treasurer of the Church of the Epiphany in the District and on the vestries of Immanuel Church-on the-Hill in Alexandria, Grace Church in Berryville and St. John's in Arlington.

General Cooksey's military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with an oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with V and an oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal with 28 oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Purple Heart.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Althea Hooff Cooksey of Fort Belvoir, a son, Paul Hoof Cooksey of Alexandria, a daughter, Allison Cooksey Hyland of Annapolis, a sister, Carolyn Cooksey Baker of Falls Church and six grandchildren. Funeral services with full military honours were held at the Old Chapel, Fort Meyer, followed by burial at Arlington National Cemetery.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 06/21/1921
  • DATE OF DEATH: 12/22/1999

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