George M. Cookson
Colonel, United States Army
He spent part of his childhood on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, where his father worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad. After graduating with a civil engineering degree from Montana State University, he too worked with the Northern Pacific, until World War II, when he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1940 – a career that would take him and his family around the world.
George was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and he married Vivienne Finley of Bozeman, Montana, in 1941, who was a sweetheart of Sigma Chi.
As previously recorded, Colonel Cookson spent almost the entire war in the Pacific Theater with the 13th Engineer Battalion. He was a commander at the company and battalion levels for almost all that time. His connection to the 13th did not end after the war. He remained in contact with many of the veterans of the battalion, and went on to a very distinguished career in the Corps of Engineers in other impressive assignments around the world.
These included Command Engineer USARYIS in Okinawa, District Engineer in New Orleans, and then as a student at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He retired from active service in 1964 when assigned to the Pentagon. He went on to an equally distinguished civilian career overseas and at home.
Cookson worked as a consultant for such companies as International Engineering/Morisson Knudsen (now the Washington Group) as a regional vice president in the Far East and in the same capacity with DeLeuw Cather International Engineers in the Middle East. He enjoyed semi retirement in San Francisco as a water and power consultant to the city.
He was selected as the initial “Honorary Colonel of the Engineer Regiment Representative to the 12th Engineer Battalion,” and spent considerable time in contact with the battalion at Fort Ord, Monterey, California, before its closure.
In 1995, Colonel Cookson was awarded the Silver Order of the deFleury Medal, from the Army Engineer Association. Shortly after in 1997, he and his wife moved to Prescott to be closer to their children.
Vivienne Cookson preceded her husband in death in 1999. He is survived by his sister, Elizabeth Cookson of Tacoma, Wash.; daughter, Shannon C. Rosenblatt and son-in-law, The Honorable Paul G. Rosenblatt; son, Gregory M. Cookson; grandchildren, Dr. Delia R. Heck of Callaway, Virgiania, Christiana “Tana” Rosenblatt of San Francisco, California, Martha Cookson-Gaio, of Basel, Switzerland; and William Cookson, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and great-grandchildren, Benton and Peter Heck, and Finley and Chiara Gaio. Other loving relatives include his niece, Frances Marie Guera and her daughter and son-in-law, Laura and Andre Abelkis, Susan and Al Rice, Cristin Cronin, Dr. Dana Ostermiller, and Sandra, Tom, and Alexis LeDuc.
A Funeral Mass will be said on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 1 p.m., at Sacred Heart Church in Prescott. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors.
Donations may be sent to the Yavapai Blind
Center, 4400 North Washington Street, Prescott, Arizona 86301 or the Catholic
Social Services of Yavapai, 116 North Summit Avenue, Prescott, Arizona