Robert Townsend Cook
February 6, 1926 – May 6, 2014
The world has lost a special member of the “Greatest Generation”. Robert Townsend Cook was born in Seattle, WA and passed away peacefully in his Mill Creek home. He was the only child of Clarence Robert and Ida Johnson Cook. His early life was spent in the Greenlake area until the Depression when in 1930 the family moved to Roseburg, OR to join their extended family. Bob lived there until the family move back to Seattle in 1940 to their Greenlake home where he graduated from Lincoln High School in 1944. Immediately Uncle Sam whisked him off to the Army to spend the last year of WWII in the Pacific on Saipan, Okinawa and in Korea. After his discharged in 1946, he began his studies at the University of Washington. These were interrupted when he went to work full time as a furrier to help support his aging parents.
Bob first met Corinne Griffith as a preschooler living across the street from each other. They reconnected after his move back to Seattle but didn’t start dating until 1949. They married on January 1, 1951 and moved to their own Greenlake home, raising their two children, Sharon and Gerry. With the encouragement and support of his family, Bob returned to the UW part time while working full-time and finally completed his Chemical Engineering degree in 1966. From an early age, “clean living and hard work” became his mantra. His first job began with his paper route in Roseburg and ended in 1988 with his retirement from the Boeing Company after 31 years.
He loved family and being an only child, he was quick to adopt others as his “family”. He always had a positive outlook on life and a wonderful sense of humor which stayed with him up until his death. He valued his family as his most treasured possessions. He lost his first love, Corinne in 1978. He was floundering alone until he met Una Bigalow Smith and they were married on January 2, 1981. They lived a lovely life and after his retirement they divided their time between their homes in Mill Creek and Florence, AZ, thoroughly enjoying their snow-bird life until her death in 2000. Again solitary life wasn’t for Bob and on a cruise to Australia he met Jean Vetter. Their friendship grew and they both had AZ connections in common. They were married on May 10, 2003 and continued to split time between Mill Creek and Sun City West, AZ. He was blessed with 4 grandchildren who meant the world to him. Aside from his family, he also enjoyed traveling the globe which began with Boeing and continued into his retirement.
He is survived by his loving, wife Jean, his daughter Sharon Cook Malen (Thomas) and son Gerry Cook (Jo), his grandchildren Rachel, Megan and Brian Malen and Claire Cook, brother-in-law Donald Griffith (Janice), sisters-in-laws Sandra Howes (Cam), Linda Hearn (Don), Billie Stanley and numerous nephews, nieces and friends. He will be dearly missed by us all but is at home with our Savior.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be Saturday, May 17th at 1:00 PM at Inglewood Presbyterian Church 7718 NE 141st St., Kirkland, WA 98034. Donations in Bob’s memory can be made to Evergreen Hospice, The American Heart Association or a charity of your choice.
All are welcome to sign the online guestbbok below and add any stories for the Cook family.
- Visitation Saturday, May 10, 2014
- Burial Service Saturday, May 10, 2014
- Memorial Service
Robert Townsend Cook
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May 12, 2014
My prayers and sympathies to the family at this difficult time.
May 12, 2014
Such a good man, and a life well lived. I'll always remember Mr. Cook as happy, friendly, funny, and most of all, kind. The legacy he left is reflected in his terrific family. Thinking of you all, with love--
American Heart Association
May 12, 2014
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
May 9, 2014
I had a handful of “heroes” growing up, and one of them was Bob Cook, and another one (in my very early years) just so happened to be his father, “Grampa Cookey”. Although I didn't frequently see Bob in my adult years, the memories I shared with him and his family will last a lifetime. One of the most vivid and happiest memories of my life was a trip that my Mom, 2 sisters, and I took with the Cook family to Disneyland. Bob packed up their brand new Chevy Caprice station wagon with Sharon and Gerry, and my 2 sisters and me, (ages 11 to 14), and hit the road for Anaheim. It was a 4 day, 3 night trip, camping along the way. Our Mothers would fly down and meet us in California (very smart ladies!). I didn't think there was anything out of the ordinary at the time. I now know that this act of bravery and patience, would surely guarantee him a knighthood, as well as sainthood. After arriving and spending the next 3 days in Disneyland, all 8 of us piled into the car again, for the 2 week trip home, once again, camping along the way. We moved to a different campground each day, and we all chipped in, setting up camp, breaking camp, and loading the car for the next leg of the trip. I not only had one of the best times of my life, but I learned a lot about teamwork and responsibility, thanks to Bob Cook; A hero I will never forget. Reed Transtrom