Michael David Cook passed away Oct. 31, 2019, in his home in Bourbon.
The family will welcome friends from 4-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, at Nappanee Missionary Church, 70417 State Rte 19 N, Nappanee, and one hour before services Tuesday. Funeral services will be Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Dave Engbrecht officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Bourbon.
Mike was born in Plymouth on April 16, 1951, to James Hunter and Marjorie (Neidig) Cook. He graduated from Triton High School in 1969, where he was quarterback and MVP of the football team and named All-County for basketball. He went on to graduate with a degree in business management from Indiana University in 1973 and then graduated from Valparaiso School of Law in 1978. On July 10 of that same year, he was appointed to the Marshall County Court by Governor Otis Bowen to become the youngest judge in Indiana at the time.
In 1980 he was elected Judge of the Marshall County Circuit Court and was re-elected in 1986, 1992, 1998 and 2004. While on the bench, he oversaw the renovation of the Marshall County Courthouse in 1988-1990, served as an officer of the Indiana Judges Association for eight years (two as president) and received two Council of the Sagamore of the Wabash awards: one in 1980 presented by Governor Otis Bowen, and the other in 1997 by Governor Frank O’Bannon.
Mike retired from the bench after 29 years of service in January 2008 and began Civil Mediation Services, LLC, where he continued to help people resolve disputes across a wide range of issues: personal injury, domestic and family, land and imminent domain, handling over 2,000 cases in the last 12 years.
While Mike will be remembered by many who interacted with him in a professional capacity, he will be missed by more who knew him personally and as a member of their community. Mike taught Sunday school to 5th graders and high schoolers and served on the church board at The Country Church. He worked extensively with the Triton Junior Miss program, serving on the board and emceeing for many years with memorable pizazz. He has attended the Nappanee Missionary Church since 2002.
He spent a lot of time in a suit and tie but always preferred to be at home in a t-shirt and jeans, driving around in gator, mowing the lawn or cutting wood or watching the sunset by a fire. He enjoyed a home-cooked meal after a long day’s work, whether it was spent in the courtroom or on a woodworking project in the garage. He loved decorating for Christmas, spending time with friends and family and watching a good college football or basketball game. He was always generous with his time and money and enjoyed helping a friend with a project.
He was always dreaming up new home and construction projects with his wife Christine, who he married in 1982. He was a loving and supportive father to his two children Brittany (Adam) and Brady, and enjoyed wrestling, teasing and cuddling his grandchildren Colwyn (3) and Davy (1).
He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 37 years Christine Kay (Rhoades) Cook, his brother Jon (Toni), his children Brittany (Adam) and Brady, his grandchildren Colwyn and Davy, his in-laws Larry and Nancy – whom he only ever addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Rhoades – and many beloved nieces and nephews who will miss their “mean old” Uncle Mike.
In lieu of flowers, the next time you are out to dinner, choose a table of strangers, pay their bill and don’t take any credit – something he loved to do especially around the holidays, and something he may have even done for you. Don’t forget to give the waitress a playfully hard time and leave a good tip – just like Mike would.
The Deaton-Clemens Funeral Home is honored to be entrusted with the arrangements for the Cook family.