Obituaries

Obituaries » James E. Cook

James E. Cook

October 6, 1925 - May 30, 2015

U.S. Veteran

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, June 20, 2015 at the Sweet Home Elks Lodge followed by a reception. A no-host dinner will be available at 5:00 p.m.

Remembrances can be sent to the Sweet Home Elks Lodge, PO Box 176, Sweet Home, OR 97386. Designate the Building Fund or Camp Meadowood Springs (a camp for children with special needs). Donations may also be made to the Linn-Benton Community College Foundation, Bonnie McCollum Scholarship fund, c/o of Sweet Home Elks Lodge.

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James E. Cook, Sr., 89, of Sweet Home, Oregon died of natural causes on Saturday.

The youngest child of Angie Lyells and Arthur Vernon Cook, Sr., James (“Jim”) was born and raised in Nyssa, Oregon. A popular and athletic student, he lettered in several sports at Nyssa High School, including football, basketball, and boxing.

Jim attended Oregon State University for one term in 1943, playing football for legendary OSU coach Lon Stiner before enlisting in the United States Army in 1944. He served in Europe until discharged in November 1945. Soon after returning to the States, he re-enlisted and served in the United States Army of the Occupation in Bavaria for three more years. He continued his military service in the National Guard and rose to the rank of master sergeant and was honorably discharged in July 1959.

He worked in a variety of jobs after returning to the Boise area, including managing a camera store, delivering groceries for Nalley’s, and selling insurance for his brother, Arthur Cook, Jr.

He married June Arlene Ulve on June 14, 1953 and had two sons and one daughter. They lived in Payette and Boise, Idaho and Oakridge and McKenzie Bridge, Oregon before finally settling in Sweet Home in 1963. Jim supported his family working as an operating engineer on most of the dams constructed on the Willamette River drainage in the 1960s, including Hills Creek, Cougar, Foster, and Green Peter. He sometimes worked in hazardous locations, including a barge anchored in the mouth of Yaquina Bay, deep underground in the steep Carmen-Smith power tunnel, and under the Columbia River in a caisson during construction of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. He erected hundreds of traffic control signs along I-5, I-205, and I-84 in Oregon and along I-40 in Arizona.

In his free time, Jim enjoyed working around the house and volunteering at the Sweet Home Elks Lodge. He was a member if the Elks for over fifty years and proudly served as Exalted Ruler and Elk of the Year. He was also a member of the VFW club.

He was a skilled card player including Panguingue and Texas Hold ‘Em. No one will forget his powerful, booming voice and his many stories. He tried to cover up his soft side by always displaying a grumpy face, but it didn’t take long for people to see through him.

After retiring, Jim and June enjoyed 19 winters in Wellton, Arizona where they connected with new and old friends from across the US and Canada. This self-proclaimed “Rowdy Bunch” spent their days socializing, playing games of skill and chance (Washoes, Bingo and Shuffleboard), sharing meals, and taking short trips to nearby casinos and Mexico.

Jim is survived by his three children, James Cook, Jr. (Jody) of Gresham, Mary Sue Reynolds (Richard) of Sweet Home, and Col. Mark Cook (Timberly) of Tega Cay, SC; grandchildren, Hilary, Emily, Mandi, Tiffany, Tracee, Troy, Grason, Tyler, and Faith; and seven great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, June; sisters, Dorothy Davis, and Thelma Childs; and his brother, Art.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, June 20, 2015 at the Sweet Home Elks Lodge followed by a reception. A no-host dinner will be available at 5:00 p.m.

Remembrances can be sent to the Sweet Home Elks Lodge, PO Box 176, Sweet Home, OR 97386. Designate the Building Fund or Camp Meadowood Springs (a camp for children with special needs). Donations may also be made to the Linn-Benton Community College Foundation, Bonnie McCollum Scholarship fund, c/o of Sweet Home Elks Lodge.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.