John W. Cook, 83, of Rochester, was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away at 5:53 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at IU Methodist Hospital of Indianapolis.
On Jan. 16, 1938, John was born in Peru. He was a treasured son of Willard and Margaret Hall Cook. Growing up he shared his childhood with two brothers, Jim and Richard. A proud Tiger, John graduated from Peru High School in 1956. During his Tiger tenure, he was a member of the cross-country team and ran the distance and endurance events for the track team.
In Peru, John and Sharon Kay Kunkle were married on May 28, 1958. They shared 53 years of life’s adventures. From their union came four wonderful children: Cindy, Ginger, Tim and Mark. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of two more generations including seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
For many years the Cook family enjoyed their home on the tip of Wolf’s Point Dr. situated on the southeast shore of Lake Manitou. Sundays brought on the competition of the C-Scow sailboat racing. John could be seen gliding across the lake always in a good position. He savored the times of tooling around with Sharon and the family on the pontoon or pulling the grandkids skiing and tubing.
John also had a great love of flight. He took flight over the decades in his Cessna #182 airplane. John hung up his headset, retiring in 1994 after 29 years of flying high in the blue sky.
After retiring as a plastic mold injection engineer, John enjoyed volunteering, giving back to our community. For many years he volunteered at the Shafer Medical Center. He also was a member of the valet team at Woodlawn Hospital. John also drove a bus for Rochester Community Schools for 12 years, delivering precious cargo.
With great athletic prowess, at the age of 50 years old, John re-initiated his running activities with training and entering several area mini-marathons including the Blueberry Stomp. He was also accomplished with ice skating, roller-blading and bicycling.
A man of great faith, John was a vibrant member of the First Baptist Church. He was on the finance board, deacon and board of trustees. Sharon and John provided great support for the Boat Church Service held each Sunday at 7:44 am. They along with Gordon and Ruth Bohs were hosts for the event. A red-orange canoe powered by John could be seen crossing the lake with boxes of donuts that the Cook’s delivered to the floating boat church congregation as they anchored and were poised ready for the service.
Left to cherish John’s memory are two daughters: Cindy York of Fort Wayne, Ginger Liegibel of Indianapolis; two sons: Tim Cook and wife Velma of Empire Mich., Mark Cook and wife Jamie of Waldo, Fla.; seven grandchildren: Melissa Jacobs and husband Derek, Krystal Buckley, Patrick K. York Jr., Andrea Barts and husband Landon, Brandon Liegibel and wife Grace, Nicholas Cook and wife Jannipher, Alex Cook and wife Samantha; nine great-grandchildren: Wyatt, Peyton, Mya, DeVonte, Lera, Owen, Nora, Garrett and Isabella; two brothers: James R. Cook and wife Cindy of The Villages, Fla., Richard D. Cook and wife Jenith of Cypress, Texas; brother-in-law Ed Kunkle and wife Judy of Peru; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding John in death are his parents, Willard and Margaret Cook, and beloved wife Sharon Kay on Sept. 21, 2011.
A celebration of the life of John W. Cook will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 21, 2021, in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th Street, Rochester. Dr. Mark Spencer will officiate. Friends may visit with the family from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, June 20, 2021, and one hour prior to the service in the funeral home on Monday. Interment will be in the Reichter Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Fulton County Cancer Fund through the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, 227 E. 9th St., Rochester, IN 46975.
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