Going to miss our friends, John & Sandra
Kathy Cooke

Our church had to say good-bye to a true friend on Sunday. It was Pastor John Warren’s last Sunday at St. John’s United Methodist Church. He’s moving to Orange, Texas this week.

He’s been our pastor for eight years. He was a life-long bachelor when he came to St. John’s. But he leaves us a married man. He married Sandra Valverde on December 10, 2010 in Houston.

We started inviting John to our Cooke gatherings soon after he came here. I remember at first we tried to be very polite, after all he was a preacher. But soon our true personalities came out, which always includes necessary roughness.

We soon saw that John could dish it out, as well as take it. We liked him immediately.

John once had to borrow The Reporter van. So Ken took my husband Bill out for lunch and they had to ride in John’s Mazda Miata. Ken said Bill had to fold himself up like a dollar bill to get in and out of the car.

At church, John’s children’s sermons were a big hit. At one time, we had three Cooke boys going up there at the same time, plus some of their friends, and it was never dull. The congregation always loved children’s time, everyone except maybe Christine because she never knew what the boys were going to say.

Once John asked the kids “What the worst thing that has ever happened to you?” Nephew Esten held up his hand and said “It was when my brother farted on my head.”

Well that pretty much broke the church up. John was at a complete loss for words. After ten minutes of laughter, John finally sent the kids off. When Esten and Will got back to their pew, their furious Mom Christine whispered something to Will. And Will suddenly whispered very loudly “Well not today!” More laughter.

John Warren was with our family through all of our ups and downs over the past 8 years. He was with our family during one of the most significant of events. He did an excellent job on Kevin’s marvelous sending off. Over the years he talked with us, made decisions with us, cried, laughed and prayed with us.

In other words, he was a very good friend.

We were all so glad when he met and married Sandra. We don’t want to say good-bye to either of them.

But above all, we wish them many blessings and friendships in their new home.

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2011-06-09 digital edition

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