Jacquelyn Cookingham
Jacquelyn Cookingham

Obituary of Jacquelyn Potter Baron Cookingham

Jacquelyn Potter Baron Cookingham, 84, died on March 5, 2021, having held fast to her true essence of style and grace, despite the progression of vascular dementia.


Jacquie's life was as meticulously curated and colorful as the iconic dresses with layered necklaces that were her signature style. In her younger years, Jacquie coordinated AKC canine events, jewelry shows, and DAR sponsored tours of the 1776 Martin/Cookingham House. She nurtured her compassion for animals through many decades of canine training and SPCA volunteer work, often bringing home the most difficult to place sick and lame pets so they could live their lives out with comfort and love. It was in this way that Jacquie lived her life out, too. Those who cared for her grew to love her dearly, as she did them. Some of these special connections include The Terraces at Brookmeade, especially Susan, Maplewoods at Stony Hill, especially Aimee; staff and volunteers (especially the long-timers) of the Dutchess County SPCA; and her compatriot of 67 years, Judith, best friends since their first freshman day at Bryn Mawr. Over the last few years, Jacquie's twin sister, Barbara, and nephew, Thomas, made annual visits to the States adding even more laughter, stories and fond memories to the many they had already shared.


Born on June 18, 1936, in Newark, New Jersey, Jacquie was the daughter of the late Brigadier General Seymour Austin Potter and Roberta (Schlorer) Potter. She had one sibling, Barbara, her fraternal twin. Educated in various schools throughout their military family travels, Jacquie attended Bryn Mawr College, then resumed living abroad where she ventured into modeling in Paris and London. She was working as a fine fashion model in Manhattan a few years later when Judith played matchmaker, leading to Jacquie's marriage to her beloved first husband, William C. Baron. Bill died after a pronounced, progressive illness in 1978. After an untenable second marriage, Jacquie found love with a widower, Oakleigh Thorne Cookingham Jr of Red Hook, New York. They were married in December 1989 through Oak's death in September 2011, living on the Cookingham Farm in Red Hook, as well as Raccoon Ridge, their second home in Grafton, Vermont.


For many years Jacquie worked as a dental receptionist for Dr. Stillman in the village of Red Hook. She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; the American Kennel Club; and was a staunch animal welfare advocate, Legacy patron, and beloved volunteer for over 30 years with the Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Her clearly stated legacy gift to the DCSPCA will provide for the education of future Veterinary Technicians, "and not the dumpster bill."


In addition to providing for quality care of animals, Jacquie donated thousands of hand knit scarves, blankets, and bookmarks to homeless shelters, animal shelters, hospitals, schools and libraries. Jacquie was a prolific fashionista, hostess, interior and jewelry designer, knitter, and artist. Her homes overflowed with the many items she had made and collected, and she delighted in giving them away to the people and causes she cared about.


Jacquie is survived by the Cookingham family, as well as her twin sister, Barbara (Potter) Fasting of the Netherlands, along with Barbara's children and their families in the Netherlands and Spain. Jacquie's brother-in-law, Antonius J. Fasting, predeceased her.


A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Christopher's Church, Red Hook, NY. Inurnment will take place in St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery, Red Hook.


In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Jacquie's memory may be mailed to the Dutchess County SPCA, 636 Violet Avenue, Hyde Park, NY 12538 or made online at https://dspca.org/?form=donate.


Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7641 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY.


To sign the online guest book, please visit www.Burnett-White.com

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