Lawmaker, Community Activist Pinney Cooke Dies

Rochester, NY – Former State Assemblywoman Audrey "Pinney" Cooke of Rochester has died after a long illness.

The Republican lawmaker served for more than a decade in the State Assembly, but was also heavily involved in charitable and community work.

She served as grants chair of the Louis and Molly Wolk Foundation, where Marvin Wolk says she will be sadly missed.

Pinney Cooke's name also graces the East House for women in recovery from drugs and alcohol, and she was involved in the Al Sigl Center, the ARC of Monroe County and many other organizations.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at Temple B'Rith Kodesh.

Cooke was a rare lawmaker who came to elected office from a background in social work rather than business or the law. She fought in the legislature to force the state to pay its contracts to non-profit social service agencies on time. After her retirement from the Assembly, she served on the boards of many community organizations from the Crestwood Children's Center to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Cooke will also be remembered for her red hair, and for her refusal to allow her age to be publically known.