Mecklenburg County Neil Cooksey dies after pancreatic cancer - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Mecklenburg Commissioner Neil Cooksey dies after pancreatic cancer battle

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Mecklenburg County Commissioner Neil Cooksey has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Fifty-year-old Neil Cooksey, a second term Republican from District 5, has been in hospice care during his battle with cancer.  He died on Wednesday afternoon, according to a post on his Caringbridge.org site.

"It is with an aching heart that I tell you, Neil passed away this afternoon," a post on the site stated around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. "His long and arduous struggle with pancreatic cancer is finally over, and he won.  He is now at peace, in heaven."

The journal post continued, "No words will ever be adequate to thank the legions of people that have supported our precious family during this time. We are humbled by the outpouring of love."

It was signed by his wife, Allyson, and their children Abigail, Anna, and Charlie Cooksey.

His daughter, Anna, took to Twitter just after 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday to talk about her father.

"Dad has passed away. Services will be Saturday at 3 at Carmel [Presbyterian] Church," she tweeted. "Anyone's welcome. Please pray for his comfort and peace. Please."

In a later e-mail a family spokesperson added this statement from the entire Cooksey family:

"The Cooksey Family would like to express their sincere thanks to the many friends, colleagues and supporters in our community for their outpouring of love and support for Neil during these past years.

The care and prayers that were continually offered nourished and sustained us during Neil's illness.

Even during these difficult times, we ask that you reflect upon his life with joy and remembrance for his dedication to his fellow man."

Cooksey checked into the Levine Dickson Hospice House, in Huntersville, on Friday, June 29th to seek medical care.

"The ways of science, in my current condition, say that I'm incurable," Cooksey said during an emotional Commissioner meeting back in July after moving into Hospice care. "But there's another way out there too. And that's the way of faith."

On May 27, 2010, Cooksey announced at the Board meeting that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but doctors had performed surgery and that he considered himself cancer-free.

Commissioner Cooksey was first elected to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in 2008.

"Commissioner Cooksey was a respected public servant dedicated to his constituency and the residents of Mecklenburg County," said Harry L. Jones Sr., County manager. "His courage, leadership, knowledge and friendship will be missed. Our prayers and condolences are with his family."

County Commission Chairman Harold Cogdell added his thoughts as well.

"Neil was a deeply respected colleague that served with sincerity and compassion," said Cogdell. "On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, our thoughts and prayers are with his family." 

According to his Board of Commissioners profile, Cooksey was a member of Carmel Presbyterian Church and has served as a deacon, elder and Sunday school teacher.

He was active in youth sports and served in leadership positions in the United Way, Y-Guides and Boy Scouts, and formerly served as chairman of the board of directors of Seigle Avenue Preschool Cooperative.

Cooksey graduated from Davidson College with a degree in political science, and from the University of Michigan Law School. He currently works as in-house counsel for Akima Management Services, Inc. 

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