Jeffrey Russ Cook

October 5, 1949April 26, 2013

Jeffrey Russ Cook, 63, of Duluth Township passed away on Friday, April 26th after a short but brave battle with Pancreatic cancer. He spent his final days surrounded by his loving friends and family.

Jeff was born on October 5, 1949 in Rice Lake, WI and grew up in Duluth, MN. He attended Morgan Park High School graduating in 1968. In 1969, he was drafted into the Vietnam War, serving in the First Cavalry Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Heroism, the Commendation Medal for Heroism, two Air Medals for over 25 aerial missions, and the Purple Heart.

He attended UMD where he double-majored in Sociology and Anthropology. He went on to work for the City of Duluth as a Water Quality Specialist, retiring in 2010. He has served as a member of the Duluth Township Council as well as the French River Church Council.

Jeff enjoyed spending time outdoors fishing and hunting, jogging and taking walks. He was an avid fan of college sports, conversation, and chocolate chip cookies.

Jeff was preceded in death by his brother, Mark Sowl.

He will be deeply missed by his wife, Rita, daughters Devon (Kurt) Ruberg and Nicky Cook, grandson Brennan Ruberg, parents Amy and Fred Sowl, siblings Gail (Warren) Taylor, Mike Cook, Allen Sowl, George (Linda) Sowl, Kathy (Eric) Chelini and David Sowl, sisters-in-law Renee (Olaf) Gunderson, and Terry (Tom) Olmstead, many nieces and nephews, and best friend of 56 years, Rick Pond.

Memorial service: Tuesday April 30th 11:00 a.m. at French River Lutheran Church with Reverend Greg Garmer officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Full military honors will be presented following the service. All are invited to leave an online condolence for Jeff’s family at


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  • Gathering of Family & Friends Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jeffrey Russ Cook

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Louis Neumayer

February 5, 2014

Rita, Jeff was still in my memories after all these years which is why I discovered the memorial. I considered you both as brother and sister and have fond memories of my Duluth years. I still remember Jeff's missed bunt attempt and the results. Jeff was a good room mate and I respected him for his service to this country. You were a beautiful couple and I am truely sorry for your loss.

Jason, Madisyn and Brayden Krause

May 1, 2013

Devon - I am so incredibly sorry to hear of the passing of your Father. Have comfort in the fact that you were able to be with him in his final days. Just know that he is forever with you in your heart and memories and that someday you will see him again in a much better place. Just know that all of those smiling faces miss you at school.
Our Deepest Symapthies

William Pond

April 30, 2013

I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to the entire Cook family. I met Jeff through my Uncle Rick Pond on various occasions (usually at our hunting shack but also on a trip to Las Vegas). He was always a pleasure to be around and had many nice things to say. You are all very lucky to have had such a nice and kind hearted person in your lives. Please know that your family will be in my thougts. William Pond

Gail Lawler

April 30, 2013

Dear Devon,
I was very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. I'm so glad you were able to spend some long weekends with him recently. I'm sure that was a comfort for the both of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Bob Troolin

April 30, 2013

Jeff was a pleasure to work with and an enjoyable person to know. Jeff was always positive, honest and hard working. I will always remember his smile and good humor. My heartfelt sympathy to the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May god bless.

April 29, 2013

Devon and family.
I am so glad that you could all be with your dad as he made his journey to meet the Lord. Heaven got another great man to protect us all. May God comfort you in the months ahead. Love Ann Hendel

Bobbi Jo Andersen

April 29, 2013

I only know about Jeff through my brother and sister David and Kathy Sowl. I just want to say I am deeply saddened by your loss and I know he will be missed by many.

April 29, 2013

Devon, we are very sorry for the loss of your Father. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Ben and Julie Karnes Family

April 29, 2013

I am so sorry Jeff is gone. He was a good friend that never had a bad word to say about anybody. Thinking of you. Sorry I can't make the service. I will be in touch.....Marlin

Norma Lindquist

April 29, 2013

Rita, words don't do much to ease the burden, I know, but please remember that you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I did not know Jeff, but from what Ann has told me, his loss will be felt within our township as he did his job so well. Norma Lindquist