Obituaries » William Rea Cooksey, C.M.
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June 28, 1965 - February 12, 2019
Burial Date: February 15, 2019
Funeral Home Rose-Neath Shreveport Southside
Memorial services for William Rea Cooksey, 53, will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Brookwood Baptist Church with Pastor David Rice officiating. Visitations will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 15, 2019 at Rose-Neath Southside and from 1:00 p.m. Saturday until service time at the church.
Bill was born June 28, 1965 in Niagara Falls, NY and was the youngest of three brothers born to Robert and Mary Cooksey. He went to be with the Lord on February 12, 2019. As an Air Force dependent, Bill lived in New York, Germany, Texas, California, and Louisiana, where he ultimately made his permanent home. As a young man, Bill loved music, vintage airplanes, skateboarding, and water skiing at Lake O’ the Pines before becoming a dedicated automotive enthusiast, especially with Mopar Magic Auto Club.
He graduated from LSU-Shreveport in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in business, with continuing education work toward an MBA and his A.A.E. certification. He started a successful career in journalism at the Shreveport Times. His passion for aviation ultimately led him to a career with the Shreveport Airport Authority in April 1999, as Manager of Marketing/Public Relations, where he coordinated tenant relations, airline service, economic development and public relations.
Beginning in February 2011, until September 2012, he was Interim Director of Airports for the Shreveport Airport Authority. He directed over 75 employees who manage and operate both Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV) and Shreveport Downtown Airport (DTN). During this period, he restructured the airport grant funding approach and increased state grant funding by nearly $10 million, negotiated the successful launch of United service to Denver, and changed multiple revenue and expense models for the airport, including parking, retail and concessions.
From September 2012 until December 2014, Bill served as Deputy Director of Airports, supervising all airport divisions. During this period, he led the efforts to increase Airport Reserves by more than $6 million and initiated multiple airport modernization projects. Bill served as Interim Director of Airports for Shreveport since December 2014. He was a 2014 Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives. Bill is past President of the Louisiana Airport Managers & Associates Organization, and has served on numerous aviation and economic development committees for both the North Louisiana Region and for the State of Louisiana.
He also worked with the Spring Street Car Museum, the Northwest Louisiana Car Club Council, and served as a board member for the Shreveport Bossier Rescue Mission. He was instrumental in the success of the annual Santa Fun Run, providing gifts for children and families. Bill was dedicated to his family and served as a deacon in the Baptist faith and accepted Jesus Christ in 2005.
He was preceded in death by his parents and father-in-law, Loyd Shillings. Left to cherish his memory are the love of his life, Donna Shillings Cooksey; son, Joshua William Cooksey; daughters, Taylor Selena Cooksey and fiancé Judah Goff and Farron Lee Ann Cooksey; brothers, Leslie Cooksey, Randy Cooksey along with his daughter Storm Ehlers, her husband Warren, and their daughter Rowan; mother-in-law, Juanita Shillings; brother-in-law, Larry Shillings; his children’s maternal grandparents, Melvin and Ruth Ann Moon; and many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Honoring Bill as pallbearers will be Bubba Mitchell, the members of the Mopar Magic Auto Club, Northwest Louisiana Car Club Council, and his colleagues at the Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV) and the Downtown Shreveport Airport (DTN). Informal attire, including jeans and t-shirts, is considered to be appropriate for Bill’s service, as are suits and ties if so inclined.
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation for care and compassion shown by the doctors, nurses, and staff of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Ochsner LSU Health System-Shreveport, as well as the staff and church family at Brookwood Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to Brookwood Baptist Church, 9014 Brookwood Church Way, Shreveport, LA 71106, or the Shreveport Bossier Rescue Mission, 901 McNeil St., Shreveport, LA 71101.