Rest in Peace: Marshall Thomas Cook FNZIA

23 June 1940 - 28 September 2023. “A mighty Kauri has fallen”.

Franklin Road resident Marshall died peacefully in his sleep after enjoying an evening meal of oysters and champagne.

Under the shadow of the America's Cup at the RNZ Yacht Squadron, we gathered to celebrate and cherish memories of his life and career.

Many words were used that day to describe the indomitable and generous Marshall, Freemans Bay Resident, Architect, Raconteur, Comedian, Cook, Yachtie, neighbour and Friend. Father Husband, Uncle, Poppy - there are so many adjectives used to describe a life well lived.

Marshall’s body of work covered Auckland from one side of our fair city to the other, notably and amongst other projects, his innovative townhouse developments stand out. Amongst others, were the townhouses in Napier Street.

Iconic and immediately recognisable in a street full of villas, he had continued to expand on his talent and habit of mixing the contemporary designs among historic heritage architecture.

A staunch and vocal critic of Villas; ironically in 2004, he bought a section in Franklin Road.

An traditional street full of grand old villas, early century homes and precious historic treasures, and where he chose to build a contemporary terracotta tiled house that shouted its arrival to the neighbours. Now only a few years later, it has effortlessly melded into the street’s landscape and become an icon amongst icons.

The irrepressible Marshall embraced our street’s culture and the Franklin Road Christmas Lights. Both he and his late wife Pru, along with his extended family, quickly became part of our close-knit community.

By the year’s end he was appearing as one of our more colourful Santas’, flying down the street on a scooter followed by his mokopuna dressed as elves; handing out treats to all and sundry with an infectious laugh and a cheeky tease.

A gravitational pull enveloped us into their universe, but now, leaving us empty and sad, none-the-less inspired and satisfied. A gift that only a great architect of his stature can bring.

And they both are missed.

“They Lived and laughed and loved and left.” James Joyce. (ROSS THORBY)

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Published: October 2023