James Murray Cook

Dec 27, 1921 – Dec 27, 2017
Murray Cook passed away aged 96 in Victoria, BC. Born in Toronto, Murray served in the Second World War as a navigator with the RCAF in the UK where he met his first wife Kathlyn (nee Bottomley), a nurse with the British Voluntary Aid Detachment. Married 40 years, they had three sons, Gregory, Kenneth and John.

After the war, Murray joined the Department of External Affairs. His first posting was to Peru which saw political revolutions and a trip down the Amazon River with Canadian priests to visit leper colonies. Murray’s second posting was Italy. Shortly after arriving, he was sent to Egypt during the Suez Crisis. While posted to Germany, he took part in nuclear disarmament talks in Vienna. 

Murray was High Commissioner to Kenya and Uganda, where he facilitated the migration of East Africans of South Asian descent to Canada.

In 1974, Murray and Kathlyn moved to Sooke, BC where they ran the Murray Cooks’ Herb Farm. The farm became a tourist attraction, and Murray gave lectures on herbs.

Widowed in 1985, Murray married the artist Pamela Ann Merrill Cook in 1987. They moved to Oak Bay, BC in 1995. During 30 years of marriage, they enjoyed travel, golf, gardening, and an active social life.

Murray is survived by Merrill, sons: Gregory (Florrie), Kenneth (Jane) and John (Maria), three grandchildren: James (Jessica), Emily, and Paul (Rachel), two great-grandchildren: Noel and Abigail, stepson Larry (Nicky), stepdaughter Lindy and six step-grandchildren: Alison (George), Nicholas (Alison), Andrew (Erin), Lara, Victoria and Serena.


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