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Friends, family remember OU student


NORMAN, Okla. — An Edmond girl has been found dead on campus at the University of Oklahoma.

School officials said Casey Cooke, 22, was found unresponsive near Evans Hall just before 3 a.m. Sunday by OU staff that patrols the area.

They tried CPR but Cooke had already died.

School officials aren’t saying much about the circumstances surrounding Cooke’s death but her family said she fell from a fire escape.

Her uncle said it is still unclear why she was climbing the fire escape alongside Evans Hall.

Word of her death quickly spread across the OU campus.

Many of her friends were devastated by the news.

“She was my best friend, other half, and the sister I never had. She had the most beautiful smile and laugh that could light up an entire room. My life has been forever changed by Casey,” friend Taylor Hall said.

Cooke was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.

The sorority house is closed for the summer but in an email her sorority sisters said, “She shined bright and was always beaming from ear to ear. She was there for anyone in an instant and always had the nicest and most positive things to say about people.”

Family members said Cooke planned to attend medical school after she graduated with a degree in Zoology.

Before college, she was a cheerleader at Edmond North High School and the Valedictorian of her class in 2008.

“She was so smart and so beautiful inside and out. She was easy to get along with and I know that because of our friendship I am a better person,” childhood friend Madelyn Russell said.

Cooke was enrolled for the fall semester but was not enrolled for summer classes.

Friends described her as outgoing and very popular.

“Casey was the most loyal and kind-hearted friend I have ever had,” friend Zak Hensley said. “You could not help but love her. She had a passion for excitement and life and put her heart into everything she did. She touched the lives of many people. Heaven gained a beautiful angel and all who loved her will miss her greatly.”

The Medical Examiner’s Officer is now investigating her death.

Many of her friends and family reached out on Twitter:

Casey’s sister tweeted:

One of her good friends, Taylor Hall, tweeted:

Another friend, Katie Oster, tweeted:

Her family sent this memory of Casey:

Casey Lauren Cooke was born March 12, 1990 to Richard and Roslyn Cooke. Since her birth, we have celebrated the life of a young woman who was loved by so many.  We will always remember her beautiful smile and innocent sincerity. Casey was a very motivated child. Her academic excellence and pursuit of a medical school admission are a testament to her drive, intelligence and positive attitude about life.  Casey loved to hang out with her family and friends and was an accomplished gymnast. Her athletic ability landed her a spot as a cheerleader and head cheerleader at Edmond North High School, where she graduated as the Valedictorian of her class in 2008. Her academic excellence continued at Oklahoma University, where she was a Zoology major and planned a second major in Spanish while preparing for the medical college admissions test. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. Casey was beautiful, intelligent, likeable and funny. She had many friends. We will miss her tremendously. Casey is preceded in death by her grandparents Everette and Betty Cooke and survived by a very large family, brothers Jake Shockley and Chris Cooke, sister Kelly Cooke, grandparents Bill and Ivialene Reisman, sister-in-law Holly Shockley, Uncle Doug and Aunt Dee Reisman, Uncles Don, Bob , Bill, Steve, and Alan Cooke, Aunts Diane, Debbie, and Dee Dee Cooke, cousins Amy, Jimmy, Everette, Jeff, Tommy, Zeke, Micah, Jennifer, and Andy Cooke, Katie Reisman, and Christian and Scott Graham. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. We will always love you so much, Casey. We will never forget our sweet baby girl.

Love, Mom and Dad

Casey’s service is Thursday June 7, at 10 a.m. at Chapel Hill.

Not June 6 at 10:30 a.m. as referenced previously in the family memory letter above.

If you would like to leave your condolences for the family, you may do so below in the comment box.