William Donald Cook of New Smyrna Beach, FL, passed away on July 26, 2014. Bill spent a happy childhood in Elmira, NY and was a proud alumnus of South Side High school. Bill took his first piano lesson at 8 years old and continued to play almost daily ever since, entertaining anyone who was lucky enough to hear him play. After a six-year stint in the Navy, he attended the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne, where he earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology. He worked for IBM from 1967 to 1992 in Chicago serving in a variety of technical and marketing middle management positions. He was a barber, a Ham radio operator, and a private pilot, owning his own Cessna 150 for many years. Bill left the cold and snow of Chicago and the stress of corporate America to settle in New Smyrna Beach, Florida in 1998 where he promptly set about transforming himself into a Floridian local. His retirement was full and productive with many pursuits. He founded Great Computer Originals (GCO) and created and maintained web-sites. He formed the USS Tidewater AD 31 Association which reunited hundreds of members of the US Navy who served on that ship and continues to this day. He was hugely instrumental in the creation of support for the restoration of the Eldridge Park antique carousel in his home town of Elmira. He loved the Little Theatre in New Smyrna Beach and took that organization from success to success first as volunteer, then as president, and finally as a life member. He was a reporter for the local Observer newspaper for two years and then moved to write a human interest column monthly for Lifestyle Magazine. His final project was the creation of a compilation of his favorite columns which was published in May 2014. "Extra Helpings: The Book" is full of his musings about his love of Florida and New Smyrna. It is available for purchase with all proceeds going to the
and can be considered in lieu of flowers. Bill will be greatly missed by his wife of 36 years, Wynne; his sons, Scott (Leah) Cook of Chicago, IL and Brett (Julie) Haddon-Cook of Atlanta, GA; his step-daughter Diane Hamstra of Grand Rapids, MI; granddaughters, Hannah and Rachel of Chicago, and Kyla and Quinlynn of Atlanta; and countless family members and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clay and Hazel Cook. A Celebration of Life service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 2 at Settle-Wilder Funeral Home, New Smyrna Beach, with the Reverend Beverly Richardson officiating. A gathering will follow at the club house at Sea Woods. Condolences may be made online at www.settlewilderfuneralhome.com Arrangements are being handled by Settle-Wilder Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 406 S. Orange Street, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32168.
Settle-Wilder Funeral Home and Cremation Service - New Smyrna Beach
406 S. Orange Street New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Published in Star-Gazette on July 30, 2014