Remembering Rowdy: The impact of Sean Cookson
TNE Editor

Remembering Rowdy: The impact of Sean Cookson

Published 3/2/17

Matt Reynolds

TNE Writer

NSU has lost a vital individual in the Tahlequah community this week. Many across the Tahlequah campus may not recognize the name Sean Cookson, but many students, faculty and people in the community have come in contact with him. For the last year, Cookson has served as Rowdy the RiverHawk.

On Monday, Feb. 27,  Cookson passed away in Tulsa at the age of 23 years, 5 months and 15 days.

Cookson has called Tahlequah his home for the majority of his life. He attended Tahlequah High School where he played basketball and graduated in 2012. Following high school he attended college at NSU, achieving a bachelor's degree. He was very active in the community at NSU. He played in the band and was the school mascot, Rowdy the Riverhawk.

The impact Cookson had on people’s lives is evident throughout the NSU community. Cookson took extra time out of his duties as Rowdy the RiverHawk to give back as much as he could.

“Sean was always willing to step up and be Rowdy at every event,” said Holyn Fredrick, Gentry, Ark. sophomore and NSU cheerleader. “He had a huge heart and was always there when we needed him for a game or appearance. He was great with the kids and fans because he had such a big heart. Sean was a great guy, and I’m so sorry for his loss. We are all still praying for his wife and family.”

Before Cookson’s days as Rowdy the RiverHawk he was an energetic member of the band playing the tuba and trombone. The big heart and kindness of Cookson was felt throughout the band in his time as a member.

“He was a super nice guy,” said Megan Fessler, Wagoner sophomore. “My first interaction was with band. He played tuba and was a hard worker. If you needed help with anything he was the person to just jump in and help. Sean was so kind to everyone. He was one of the first people I met at NSU.”

The life of Cookson was just starting to take shape. Sean married the love of his life, Cassandra, last June.  This past month on Feb. 1, Cookson took his first job in law enforcement as a deputy for the Craig County Sheriff's Office. Although his time working with the Craig County Sheriff’s Office was short, they still felt his positive impact, as so many did who had the chance to interact with him. Members of the community voiced their support of Sean and the Cookson family.

“Our brother, as you now patrol the streets of heaven, may you continue your vigilant watch over us all as we carry on in our brother's honor, said David Shaulis, Pryor resident. “We thank you for your service and for your sacrifices. We thank you for your life. Job well done, sir. Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Sean Cookson.”

The NSU community has lost a staple of the Tahlequah campus. The life of Cookson reflected kindness, happiness, hard work and a huge heart, which touched so many.

Sean Cookson will be missed.

Anyone who would like to help out with donations to the Cookson family can donate by visiting

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