First African American firefighter in Va. Beach is laid to rest

A funeral service was held Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, for Retired Master Firefighter Anthony Cooke, who passed away Dec. 27, 2016. Credit: WAVY Photo/Brandi Cummings

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Anthony “Tony” Cooke made history in 1976 by becoming the first African American firefighter in Virginia Beach.

Cooke was laid to rest Monday in a private ceremony.

The department announced Cooke’s passing last week in a message on its Facebook page.

The retired master firefighter was also a veteran of the United States Army, and served a tour in Vietnam.