Video: Residents Get Closer Look into Life of Elvis Presley

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FULTON, Miss. (WCBI) — Elvis Presley was not only known for his vocal talents and musical hits throughout the years but Presley also gave back during his lifetime.

A local teacher hosted a fundraiser for needy students and brought in a special guest close to Presley.

Most people and fans know Elvis, the performer, Marian Cocke knew a different Elvis.

“He was such a good person and he truly, truly cared about other people,” Cocke said.

Cocke was Elvis’ personal nurse for the last two years of his life. She spoke at a memorial dinner sponsored by the Moody Blues Elvis Presley Fan Club at Itawamba County Agricultural High School.

“100 percent of the proceeds tonight goes to the Moody Blues Charitable Foundation for our needy students and those needs would be academic needs, if they need help going to, like a competition, if they need a new pair of eyeglasses,” said Lori Holland, fan club president. 

Those attending the event heard about the private side of the singer, whom Cocke first met when Elvis was staying at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

“I walked in the building and I could tell the static electricity in the building, I got more excited and I got upstairs where he was and I found I was almost running down to his room. And I walked in the door, looked at the boy, and I’m going to tell you something, I fell in love, real fast,” Cocke said.

She soon became Elvis’ nurse at Graceland.

“I would work during the day, go home at night, prepare dinner for my family, eat with them and then go to Graceland, spend all night, and go to work every morning from Graceland,” Cocke said.

They became good friends and although she refused to take a salary, she often experienced Elvis’ generosity.

“He asked me one time if I wanted a microwave. I said, ‘I don’t want a microwave.’ He said, well someone had told him they had to work during the day and go home at night to cook dinner. ‘Well, I got a stove.’ And he said, ‘Don’t you need a microwave?’ I said, No I don’t need a microwave,’” Cocke said.

The retired nurse shared about her last visit to Graceland, a few days before Elvis passed away.

“So he hugged me good night and I got to the door of his room and he said, ‘Mrs. Cocke?’ And I turned and said, ‘What is it honey?’ And he said, ‘The doors of this house will always be open to you.’ And they always have been,” Cocke said.

Cocke plans to continue sharing her memories of Elvis at charity dinners for as long as she can.

She has hosted a fundraiser in Memphis for nearly 23 years and has raised close to one million dollars for charity.

Categories: Local News

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