And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, “Well done;
Be thou at peace.” –West Point Alma Mater
With great sadness, I report the death of Cookie Goolsby. We will miss him terribly.
Cookie defined the Pref-Tech core value of grit. Heck, he started the whole thing back in 2005. I’ve never met a tougher man. Cookie would stare the meanest, most frightening challenge directly in the eyes and kindly give him one last chance to walk away. I’ve watched Cookie climb telephone pole after telephone pole in sweltering, horrible conditions to repair aerial cabling for service providers after Hurricane Rita. He cried to me in Florida after Hurricane Wilma because that part of Florida only had concrete telephone poles–he had to work off of a bucket truck and couldn’t climb. He wanted to do it the hard way. I’ve seen him work tirelessly in swampy, mosquito-infested Cameron Parish, LA while doing his part to build one of the largest liquid natural gas terminals in the world. There were many long days and endless nights of intense, manual labor during that project. He physically pushed me out of the way and, by himself and against my protests, pulled over 100 pounds of gear 100 feet up a tower on the border near Laredo. Through it all, he smiled. Through it all, he was positive. Through it all, he was thankful for having the opportunity to work. Through it all, he loved Pref-Tech and the Pref-Tech family.
Cookie faced no greater challenge than the cancer that consumed his body over the last couple of years. We watched a strong, powerful man shrink to 118 pounds. We watched the 60-year-old man that always outworked 20 somethings need assistance to walk. We saw a man long for just one more chance, just one more chance to report for work at 6:00 am. Through it all–despite the pain and suffering–Cookie maintained a positive attitude. Through it all, Cookie greeted us with warmth and joy. Through it all, Cookie maintained an unwavering faith in the Lord. Through it all, he fought to fulfill God’s will.
Cookie’s last communication with me came in the form of a text last Tuesday. He sent me the following scripture:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Cookie, take rest. Your work is done. You are with the Father.
We love you, we will miss you, and we will double down on the grit that you founded.