Madison - Dr. David Upjohn Cookson, age 86, of Madison, WI, died peacefully on Wednesday, August 7. He was born in Orange, New Jersey to Rhoda and Leonard Cookson, but spent most of his childhood in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was a brilliant student, and attended the University of Michigan before entering Harvard Medical School at the age of 19. He met the love of his life, Christine Morrison, at the Medical School Dining Hall, and they soon married. After moving to Madison in 1957 for his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, David was called for two years of duty serving as a doctor at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. However, the young couple had fallen in love with Madison and decided to make their life there. David was invited to join Associated Physicians and treated thousands of patients during his career. Particularly admired for his skill as a diagnostician, he was cherished in his practice as a knowing, caring professional who truly listened to his patients. After retirement he and Christine enjoyed winters in Carefree, AZ until 1991, and thereafter in Jupiter, FL.
David was passionate about all aspects of golf. Besides becoming an accomplished player (once finishing 10th in the Wisconsin State Amateur), he participated in many golf organizations as a volunteer. He was liaison to the Evans Scholars House on the UW Campus, and served as President of the Wisconsin State Golf Association and a Vice President of the Western Golf Association. For the United States Golf Association, he was a rules official for over 90 tournaments, including 25 US Opens. He was a President of Maple Bluff Country Club, inducted to the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame, and awarded the 2015 Joseph C. Dey Award by the USGA for lifetime service as a volunteer. He played hundreds of courses, thousands of rounds, studied golf history, ran tournaments, wrote for golf publications, rated courses, and influenced many others in the golf world.
He was a voracious reader and subscribed to three daily newspapers and many periodicals. He was a lifelong student of history, and also enjoyed fiction, nonfiction, and professional literature. David relished his daily meals. He was a cheeseburger connoisseur, but was proud too that he ate "every vegetable known to man". He was also a fan of Wisconsin's signature products, including butter, beer, brats, and beef (and of course the Green Bay Packers).
David was a strong family man, and is survived by his wife of 65 years, Christine, and their four children: David (Lynn) Cookson, Daniel (Holly) Cookson, Sondra (Eugene) McLinn, and Matthew (Gail) Cookson. He is also survived by his brother, Lawrence Cookson, many beloved grandchildren and a growing number of great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary von Schreiner.
As his illness progressed, David was lovingly cared for by his precious and devoted wife, Christine. The family also owes a debt of gratitude to his main caregivers, particularly Hans, Evelyne, and Kathy who showed exceptional professionalism, tenderness and love in their care of David.
A Celebration of Life will be held at MAPLE BLUFF COUNTRY CLUB, 500 Kensington Drive, Madison, on Sunday, September 15, 2019, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Evans Scholars Foundation, Agrace Foundation, and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
3610 Speedway Road
Christine and all ... The news of David's death is very sad, but I also know that David would be thankful that the long siege is over. We are glad to have so many good memories of happier times now long ago. We are at our cabin outside Yellowstone, and hope to be here until later in September, so will miss any current events. We will look forward to seeing you when we get home.
Marc and Alice Hansen
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