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Former Rep. John Cooksey laid to rest; ‘No greater example’ of service, says Julia Letlow

L: Luke Letlow
R: Former LA Congressman John Cooksey
L: Luke Letlow R: Former LA Congressman John Cooksey(Congresswoman Julia Letlow)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:11 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The community is remembering former Congressman John Cooksey.

Cooksey died on June 4, 2022, at the age of 80. His funeral was held on June 17.

“I’m just so honored that I was able to know him, count him as a mentor, and know him as a friend,” Congresswoman Julia Letlow told KNOE after Cooksey’s funeral.

Cooksey represented Louisiana’s Fifth Congressional District from 1997 to 2003.

When Letlow was elected to that seat in 2021, Cooksey gave her this advice.

“He said whatever you do, do not forget about the people,” explained Letlow. “It’s about serving the people. Put them first, and you will succeed.”

Letlow adds Cooksey holds a special place in her heart because it was him that gave her late husband Luke his start in politics.

“Luke hounded their office,” said Letlow. “Called every single day until he was able to secure an internship. Went up to Washington D.C, and that’s where he caught the bug for politics and did so well, and I believe Dr. Cooksey offered to let him come back down and work on the campaign side of things, and that is where he became his driver.”

Letlow adds Cooksey’s lifetime of service in the U.S. Airforce, Congress, and as an eye surgeon is a valuable lesson to the people of the Fifth District.

“It’s not about you. It’s about the people you serve,” explained Letlow. “I can think of no greater example, no other man to emulate that for my children and me to see, and that’s why it was such an honor to know and work with him.”

Cooksey’s funeral was held at the First United Methodist Church in Columbia.

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