Walter D. 'Wally' Cook Jr.
March 18, 2022
BESSEMER, Mich. - Our beloved and loving father, Walter D. "Wally" Cook Jr., went home to his Lord and Savior on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at the Crestwood Village Assisted Living in Mt. Pleasant, with his children by his side.
Wally was born on Aug. 4, 1944, in Merriweather, to the late Helen and Walter Cook Sr. During his youth, he resided with his family in Merriweather and attended grade school in Bergland, until his family moved to Ironwood, in 1953. After the move, Wally attended Ironwood Public Schools and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1962. During his high school years, he was part of the JROTC program and a member of the Salvation Army, where he participated in the choir.
Wally joined the U.S. Army on June 29, 1965, and proudly served his country until June 27, 1969. During his time in the Army, he worked for the Security Clearance Agency translating Morse code and was a Vietnam veteran. Wally enjoyed his time serving our country, especially while he was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska. After an honorable discharge from the Army, he moved back to the Upper Peninsula, where he made his home. Wally married Reva Godwin in 1970, and together they raised their family.
While making a life with his family in the U.P., Wally was employed at the White Pine Copper Mine. When he was laid off from the mine, he worked for Great Lakes Propane, Copps Grocery Store and Bessemer Plywood Plant.
Wally had three amazing children that he was so proud of. He made it his priority to attend all the events that his children were involved in whether it was school activities, sports or band concerts. He was their No. 1 fan. Aside from being a devoted father, Wally was an outstanding father-in-law to Gail Cook and Eric Phipps and a phenomenal grandfather to his grandchildren, Tristan Cook, Matteo Cook and Declan J. Cook Belanger. He was a favorite uncle and cousin to many other family members.
Wally was involved with the Boy Scouts of America with Bessemer Troop 315, where he worked alongside his son and many others to obtain merit badges and to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He went on a trip of a lifetime with Troop 315, to Philmont National Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. He took several trips to Camp Tesomas in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, through the years with the Bessemer Troop 315, where he was the Scoutmaster or the assistant Scoutmaster assisting many youth with achieving the rank of Eagle Scout or just a rank advancement. Wally could always be found at the hobby tables, troop campsite, program center or trading post drinking coffee, Pepsi or having an ice cream bar while playing a good game of cribbage.
As the years went on his time at Camp Tesomas expanded as his son was part of the Camp Tesomas staff and his youngest daughter worked at Akela's World Cub Scout Camp. Wally visited both children frequently typically on Wednesdays as he enjoyed the Order of the Arrow call out ceremony. The camp staff adopted Wally as their camp dad, and he was well known in the Samoset Council Camp community for his laughter, smile, sense of humor and a game of cribbage.
Wally had a strong faith and attended the Assembly of God Church in Ironwood. He always volunteered his time for many church functions including ringing the bell for the Salvation Army at Christmas time, which he took so much pride and joy in doing.
He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3673 and the American Legion Post 27, where he was the chaplain in Bessemer. Wally was very active in the VFW doing the following: selling tickets for bingo night and arranging the guest speakers for local veteran programs, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day. He stood guard when the Vietnam Moving Wall visited
Bessemer, went to see veterans in the local nursing homes, put American flags on veteran graves at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Bessemer and assisted with providing families of deployed soldiers with calling cards so that they could stay in contact with their loved ones.
Wally had many hobbies and talents. He enjoyed working on cars, fixing things, traveling, photography and singing gospel hymns or Christmas songs. He had fun making people laugh with his many hats and sometimes a wig or goofy T-shirts. Wally enjoyed the company of friends and family while meeting them for coffee. He loved his ice cream and could be found at Burger King, McDonald's, K-Mart or an ice cream shop; he also enjoyed grabbing a bite to eat at a local restaurant.
Wally left his print on everyone's heart no matter if he knew you for five minutes or five years. He was a friend to everyone, and he was a true delight to be around. His laugh and smile were infectious and will be remembered by all that knew him including the team that cared for him at Crestwood Village Assisted Living, Heartland Hospice and ProMedica Hospice. His love for peanut butter M&Ms will long be remembered by many as he had multiple M&M dispensers.
Wally was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Cook: an infant daughter, Faith Ann Cook; his father, Walter D. Cook Sr .; his brother-in-law, Charles Cook; a nephew, Jeff (Puffy) Cook; a niece, JoAnn Carlisle; and several aunts and uncles.
Wally is survived by his children, Gordon (Gail) Cook, Cheboygan, and Joy Cook and Lisa (Eric) Phipps, both Alma; his siblings, Ruth Cook, Columbia City, Indiana, Millie (Dennis) Carlisle, Ironwood, and Robert Cook, Wakefield.
Visitation will be held on Friday, May 27, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Lakeside Memorial Chapel, 806 Putnam St., in Wakefield.
A memorial service will be held at the Assembly of God Church in Ironwood, on Saturday, May 28, at 11 a.m., with family welcoming friends and family beginning at 10 a.m., with the Rev. Mark Ortman officiating.
A graveside service will take place at the Hillcrest Cemetery, Bessemer, where military rites will be accorded.
A luncheon will be held at the church following the graveside service.
Wally's family would like to thank the staff at Crestwood Village Assisted Living, Heartland Hospice and ProMedica Hospice staff for the amazing care they provided for Wally.
Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of the Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family with their arrangements. To send online condolences please go to lakesidememorialchapel.com.