William P. Cooke, 86, of Warwick, a tire company owner, died of respiratory failure Dec. 7 at Sunrise at Floral Vale in Yardley.
Mr. Cooke opened WP Cooke on North Broad Street in Philadelphia in 1964. He worked six days a week at the company, which expanded to three locations, until retiring when he was 80, his daughter Lizann said.
Mr. Cooke grew up in East Falls and graduated from Malvern Preparatory School, where he was a standout baseball player. He was offered a minor-league contract, his daughter said, but enlisted in the Navy instead.
During World War II, he served aboard a destroyer in the Pacific.
After his discharge, Mr. Cooke earned a bachelor's degree from Villanova University. He continued to be a fan of Villanova's sports teams.
In 1951, he married Joan Reeves. They raised a family in the Somerton section of Philadelphia, where he was a Little League baseball coach for 15 years.
He regularly took his own children to Phillies games, making sure they got there early enough to get autographs of their favorite players, his daughter said. He organized family trips, with a goal to visit every state capital. "We only missed three or four," his daughter said. The family also traveled to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean. He made sure his children saw the less-privileged areas so they would understand how fortunate they were and be aware that not everyone was so blessed, his daughter said.
An avid golfer, Mr. Cooke had two holes-in-one at Cedarbrook Country Club. He was also a member of Torresdale Frankford Country Club and Boca Point Country Club in Florida, where he spent winter vacations for 30 years.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Cooke is survived by daughters Debbie Ryan, Barbara Carter, and Susan; a son, William; and three grandchildren. His wife died in 1992.
Services were private. Memorial donations may be made to Christ's Home for Children, 800 N. York Rd., Warminster, Pa. 18974.