Peggy Cook Pool

February 13, 1934January 7, 2021

Peggy Lawler Whatley was born on the 13th of February 1934, and passed away peacefully on Thursday, the 7th of January 2021. She was 86 years of age.

Peggy was a native Houstonian who graduated from Reagan High School in 1952, and attended the University of Houston. She was a lifelong member of the Methodist church.

In 1952, she married her high school sweetheart, Robert “Bobby” Kneppler and had three children, all of whom survive her: Jana Fedorko, Lana Piper, and Robert Kneppler, Jr. During these years, Peggy worked in the pipeline construction industry, primarily for Houston Contracting Company and as personal assistant to Harold J. Muckley.

After Bobby’s passing in 1979, Peggy married Kelly Cook in 1983. In 1986, they formed the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation to fund needs in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Kelly passed away unexpectedly in 1989 leaving the Foundation’s responsibilities to Peggy. She served as President of the Board of Directors of the Cook Foundation until her retirement in 2012. Under her leadership, the Foundation awarded college scholarships to hundreds of young adults that may have otherwise been unable to continue their education. The Foundation has also built buildings, funded grants, and provided housing among its many activities targeted at helping the needy.

Peggy married Tilman Pool in 1992 and remained happily married until his death in 2019. Mr. Pool was a fighter pilot in WWII that achieved the status of “ace” during his service on the USS Hornet in the Pacific. After his passing, Peggy often stated how thankful she was that Tilman took such good care of her in their later years.

Mrs. Pool is survived by her ten grandchildren, Michael Sample, Bobby Piper, Alison Piper Standlee, Linley Piper Dieringer, Billy Fedorko, Drew Fedorko, Ben Fedorko, John Kneppler, Trey Kneppler, and Colby Kneppler as well as twelve great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her stepchildren, Gene Cook, Ernie Cook, and Ann Woll; and by her sister Joanne Whatley Passafuma.

A funeral service is to be conducted at one o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 14th of January, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo H Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family asks that memorial contributions be directed to The Briarwood School, 12207 Whittingham Drive, Houston, TX 77077; or to Boys and Girls Country of Houston, 18806 Roberts Road, Houston, TX 77447.


  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, January 14, 2021


Peggy Cook Pool

have a memory or condolence to add?


January 18, 2021

Our family was so sad to hear about Peggy's passing. Our first memory of Peggy was when she brought her twins to either mine or Karen's birthday party (I think I was five years old and it was at our house in Robindell). I had never met twins before and Jana & Lana had on matching party dresses. We were so excited! Over the years, Mom always told stories about Peggy and the family. Peggy made sure she kept up and she came to our wedding and she was just "always there" for the important times in Mom's life. We're so honored to have known her. You will be missed, Peggy.

Karen Giles Berres & Stacey Giles Clark
(Curtie Giles' daughters)

Vivian Moore

January 11, 2021

Peggy was a wonderful lady who will sorely be missed, always sweet and kind. May she Rest In Peace.

Dennis Truax

January 11, 2021

I first met Peggy about 20 years ago when she and the Board of the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr., Foundation visited Mississippi State's campus, and the civil engineering department in which I was a faculty. She was engaging, light hearted, but also very interested in seeing that the work of the Foundation supported students. The Foundation was very supportive of my department and years later, as the name changed to Civil & Environmental Engineering and I became Department Head, we continued to stay in touch until she retired.

She as a great lady, and I know there will be a host of people who miss her. I wish her family comfort in knowing she lived a life of purpose and impact which will far surpass the time she was allowed to share with us on this planet. Thanks for sharing her with the rest of us.

Bill Pace

January 9, 2021

When I was executive director of the USM Foundation in Hattiesburg, Ms. my wife and I traveled to Texas A and M to see Southern Ms. play. We invited Peggy , Tillman and Robert . It is a wonderful memory of time with a great family.
Her support of the Dubard School at Southern Ms was fantastic. What a legacy.