Ralph W. Cook, Jr. age 92 died peacefully with his family around him in the Maples Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Wrentham on Tuesday May 21, 2013. He was the husband of Mary W. (Lawrence) Cook for over 71 years. They were inseparable working side by side for all these years. Born in North Attleboro, March 12, 1921, the son of the late Ralph W. and Hazel M. (Washburn) Cook, Mr. Cook was a lifelong Franklin resident. He was a graduate of the Norfolk County Agricultural High School in 1939. Ralph and his late brother Ronald Jake owned and operated one of the oldest family farms in Franklin. The farm was started by their Great-Grandfather Samuel Cook in the early 1800s. A farm stand was started by their grandfather, Walter in 1896 and they sold fruits and vegetables until the stand closed in 1996. The farm consisted of over 40 acres of vegetables and 15+ acres of orchard. They raised chickens, turkeys, and other farm animals in earlier years. In the early 1950s, they built greenhouses and cold frames. They raised many types of flowers and vegetable plants. In the spring while they were planting the fields the store would open on Mothers Day to sell their plants and the many Memorial Day arrangements that they made. Fall was also a very busy time harvesting all the fall crops. The stand and wagon were decorated and many people from all over the place would take pictures. It was quite an attraction. Ralph and his family were great fox hunters years ago. He would fox hunt with his father, brother and grandfather. In his younger years, he would plow and plant the fields by horse and a single plow. As time went on, the tractor took over. Even at 90, Ralph was still out harrowing and cultivating on his tractor. Ralph loved farming, it was his passion. In the 1960s Cooks farm was also called Indian Rock game Preserve. Ralph raised hundreds of game birds such as quail, pheasant and partridge. Ralph and Jake also operated a welding and machine shop on their farm. They did general welding and repairs for several towns such as Franklin, Bellingham, Medway and more. Up until he was 88, Ralph would still go to work in the machine shop every day. During World War II, Ralph was a member of the Civil Defense. When the town alarm would go off, he would put on his uniform and go around to the houses and make sure they were secure and their shades down. Ralph worked the voting poles in Franklin for the town elections from 1957 for many years. He had been a member of the Board of Directors of Dean Bank and former Chairman for a period of years. He was on the Board of Trustees for the Norfolk County Agricultural School in Walpole. For several years he was on the Finance Committee for the Town of Franklin. Ralph was active with the boy scouts. He served on the Troop committee for Troop 99 of Franklin and served on the Eagle Board of Review. He was an active member of St. Marys Church in Franklin and in later years St., Marys Church in Wrentham. Ralph was a member of the Franklin Knights of Columbus Sacred Heart Council. Besides farming his other favorite hobby was camping. Ralph and Marys favorite places to camp were Nickerson State Park, Pine Knoll in New Hampshire and for the past 30 years at Lake Manchaug Campground in East Douglas. He loved to cook for everyone. Breakfast was his favorite meal to cook. Ralph was a true family man and family always came first. Ralph always said, Never say good-bye, always say so long, and stay out of trouble and see you later. In addition to his wife he is survived by his children, Ralph W. Cook III and his wife Cynthia of Norfolk and Harland L. Cook and his wife Barbara of Walpole. He was the brother of the late Ronald C. Cook and Carolyn L. Fox. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Ralph IV, Eric, Kimberly, Harland Jr, Jennifer, Jeffrey and Douglas, and 24 great-grandchildren. His funeral will be held on Saturday June 1 from the Ginley Funeral Home of Franklin (www.ginleyfuneralhomes. com) 131 Main Street, Franklin at 11:15 followed by a funeral mass in St. Marys Church at Noon. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Calling hours will be on Friday from 4-8. In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to the Ralph W. Cook, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Dean Bank, PO Box 307, Franklin, MA 02038.
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Published in Milford Daily News on May 29, 2013
Ginley Funeral Home
131 Main Street Franklin, MA 02038