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Funeral Honors Life Of Irving Police Officer

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) - Irving Police laid one of their own to rest on Friday.  Officer Corey Lee Cooksey died Sunday at a Grapevine hospital after being admitted there two days earlier with low blood pressure.

Tributes poured in at his Friday morning funeral at Irving's Calvary Church.  "He was an excellent police officer, father, son and great friend," said fellow officer Richard Bracey, who remembered Cooksey as more than a good cop.  "Anyone who spent more than five minutes with Corey had more than 30-minutes of stories to tell.  He was the glue that bonded all of us together.  And got us through the rough days."

"He's my best friend," echoed Officer Charles VanDeren, who partnered with Cooksey the past five years.  "I would say 90% of the people he wrote tickets to thanked him for the ticket.  I would get the exact opposite reaction but Corey would, 'Oh, thank you for the three tickets, officer, I'll try to be more careful in the future.'"  VanDeren concluded, "He would educate a person with what they're doing wrong and left them with a positive feeling."

VanDeren said his colleagues would miss Cooksey's humor.  "He had an infectious laugh.   Any time Corey laughed—it didn't matter where he was in the building---you'd know it was his laugh.  You could definitely track him down with that."

Cooksey spent nearly 14-years with the department, and was just 39.  He died early Sunday after being admitted to a Grapevine hospital less than 48-hours earlier with high blood pressure.

His sense of duty was felt beyond law enforcement, which was a good thing, according to Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd, who eulogized Cooksey.  "It's the kind of police officers that we are that matters so much, and that is precisely the example that Corey Cooksey set with his service."

Corey Cooksey was a motorcycle officer.  His fellow officers say it's important that police from Dallas and Grand Prairie sent motorcycle escorts to show their support and respect.  "It is an honor," Officer VanDeren told CBS 11 News.  "Whenever I looked outside and saw Dallas motors and Grand Prairie showing up, it means a lot."

Cooksey's own bike rested mutely outside, his boots reversed in its stirrups in the riderless horse tradition.  He is to be buried in his parents' home town, of Mullin, in Central Texas.  "Whether you were a citizen he was contacting in an enforcement fashion or a call where you were a victim, Corey made you feel safe, secure," Officer Bracey said.

Corey Cooksey leaves behind a wife and 9-year-old son.   His sudden death left the family with expenses.  In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to a memorial account that has been set up at the Irving City Employees Federal Credit Union (ICEFCU). The account has been set up as the Corey Cooksey Memorial Fund. Checks should be made payable to the ICEFCU and deposited into the account. Donations to the account will be given to the Cooksey family, according to Irving Police.

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