George John Cocoma passed away on Thursday, October 5 at his home three days short of his 85th birthday. He was born October 8, 1932 in Rockford, Illinois to George and Elizabeth Cocoma. He attended Loyola University in Chicago, IL where he earned his MS, Microbiology in 1956 and met his wife Donna Pulte whom he married on November 28, 1953. His career spanned 60+ years in the meat industry starting with Swift & Co., Chicago, IL. He moved his family to Fort Wayne, IN to work at Peter Eckrich & Sons where he became Vice President of Research and Development and then to Oklahoma City, OK to Wilson Foods in 1973. Throughout his career, he served as a scientific consultant to the USDA and FDA for the American Meat Institute. In 1988, he moved to Omaha to work for ConAgra Foods and then formed his own consulting firm Professional Resource Organization to serve as a specialist in food safety and processing. He was considered a leading expert on food safety, published several scholarly papers, and is credited on several patents.
Most of all, George loved his family and shared with them his passion for the Hawaiian Islands during vacations over the last 35 years. He loved to cook and travel the world. He and Donna enjoyed entertaining and experiencing fine food with friends and family. They were faithful servants to St. John’s Catholic Church in Edmond, OK where he served as Chairman of the Building Committee for the church dedicated in 1983. He was predeceased by son John Gregory, mother Elizabeth, father George Skye and brother Alex. He is survived by wife Donna, brothers John (Susan) and Chuck (Patricia), daughters Mary Kyle Cocoma (Joseph Sperone), Betsy Mantor (Dr. Cameron Mantor), Jennifer Hustis (Mark Hustis), grandchildren, Kyle Peters (Dr. Samara Peters), William Mantor, Katie Hustis, and great grandchildren, Aeon and Kassad Peters, as well as nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life will be Thursday, October 12 at 11:00AM at St. John’s Catholic Church, Edmond, OK. Arrangements are under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home, Edmond, OK.