John Edward Haycook
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John Edward Haycook, having accomplished much in his life and having had a great time living it, passed away at age 92 in Dover, NH.
Born on November 27, 1921, in Newark, Ohio, Jack was the first of two lucky sons born into the happy family of John Nathaniel Haycook and Ann Rosetta Cross Haycook. His beloved Grandma Mary Cross lived with the family and spoiled him silly. The family home and property on North Ave. was once part of the Underground Railroad and is now part of the current site of Kellogg Community College.
As a paperboy he sold the last Extra on a city corner the day of the Hindenburg disaster. He graduated from St. Philip High School in 1939 despite a science project gone awry that caused a school fire according to the newspaper. He was considered an alumnus of Michigan State University even though he dropped out of the University after the attack on Pearl Harbor to enlist in the U.S. Navy.
He served as Signalman First Class on the U.S.S. Dyson in the South Pacific. While on assignment in Kalamazoo, MI, he met and married Rhea Harrier, his wife of 53 years, on March 17, 1945. Though he hoped to make the Navy a career, he was honorably discharged the following August in San Pedro, CA, due to a war-related disability.
Jack and Rhea loved their home in San Bernardino, California, where their first child was born, but the lure of living closer to their families drew them back to Michigan. Four more children were born in Battle Creek including Laurie Ann who died shortly after birth.
He studied accounting at Argubright Business School. After finishing his education and working a short stint as an auditor for the state of MI in Ann Arbor, the family returned to Battle Creek where he worked for Norman Foods, Inc. as Secretary/Treasurer until his retirement in 1983.
In 1963 Jack and Rhea purchased the Annis Fur Shop on Columbia Ave., which Rhea managed. They closed the women's clothing and fur business just before their retirement.
Jack was a member of the Battle Creek Lions Club, the VFW and the Elks Club. He and Rhea were marvelous dance partners who loved attending the dance parties at the VFW and Elk's Club where attendees often cleared the floor to watch them. One of the family's fondest memories is of ladies lining up to dance with Jack at his granddaughters' wedding receptions.
In his younger days he enjoyed gymnastics, swimming and bowling. He was known to draw admiring crowds when he figure skated on the frozen pond in Irving Park. The sport he loved the most, however, was golf. He was a member of Marywood Country Club for many years before joining Battle Creek Country Club. He was thrilled when he scored two holes-in-one; and he was very pleased to maintain his four handicap for many years. Jack and Rhea retired to Sun City, Arizona, where he was able to play golf to his heart's content—even in the scorching summer heat.
All in all he lived a great life filled with some challenges, some adventures and lots of laughter. He loved to travel, and he was ready for his last journey to a destination which he surely hoped would have a nineteenth tee nearby. He died a grateful man.
He is survived by a grateful family of four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. His children are Susan Haycook Weiske and son-in-law William of Brookfield, NH; Terrell Haycook Cutler and son-in-law Frank of Centennial, CO; Lynn Haycook Buchko of Glen Ellyn, IL; and John R. Haycook and daughter-in-law Jane of St. Louis, MI. His grandchildren are Will Weiske of Los Angeles, CA; Tara W. Costello of Dover, NH; Douglas Cutler of Pella, IA; Captain David Cutler of Centennial, CO; Sara Cutler of Denver, CO; Lauren Buchko of Frederick, MD; Lindsay Buchko of Gaithersburg, MD; and John K. Haycook of Petoskey, MI. He is also survived by his cousin Mary Ann Cross Fogden of Sharon, NH; his sisters-in-law Marcelene Carey of Fort Myers, FL, and Marthajean Kleinhans of Ashley, MI; and many nieces and nephews.
A private burial with military honors was held at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools Foundation in Battle Creek, MI, for St. Philip High School or to the Lions Club International Foundation in Chicago, IL, for sight and hearing projects.
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Aug. 17, 2014