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A. Ronald COOK

Obituary Condolences


Family-Placed Death Notice

COOK, A. Ronald JUDGE A. RONALD COOK The honorable Judge A. Ronald Cook had 84 ½ wonderful years and, if he were here, would not hesitate to point that out. On Aug. 29, Judge Cook died peacefully at Birghtmoor Hospice in Griffin, leaving this a much better world because of his outlook on life, his heart and his love of the juvenile justice system. Judge Cook's humor was quick, sometimes subtle, but always there. No one escaped getting pulled into one of his humorous observations.. He proved wrong the new in-laws who predicted soon after he married in his 20s that he would "never amount to anything." Judge Cook was blessed with loving two women "until death do us part," raising four successful children and getting his six grandchildren on their paths to a good life. Judge Cook was born Feb. 25, 1929, just eight months before the stock market crash that started the Great Depression, in Butts County to the late Andrews and Evelyn Lavendar Cook. He had a brother and two sisters. But one of his sisters, Gloria, died at a young age after she and her brother, Ronnie, contracted scarlet fever. As a Boy Scout he delivered eggs from the family flock and then tended his own hens. And like any respectable Southern boy he participated in virtually every sport offered at Jackson High School at the time - football, basketball, softball and track - and he still holds the record for the longest run on Jackson's football field. His election as "wittiest" of class of Jackson High School's 1947 was an understatement. A year after graduating high school and during the Korean War, Judge Cook enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was an aviation navigator based in Alaska and Hawaii and at Whidbey Island, Wash., until he was honorably discharged four years later in 1952. In 1953 he married Elizabeth Ann Ross and they had four children. For 19 ½ years, Judge Cook was an investigator for Retail Credit Company, now Equifax, and all the while attended class at night, and after work, at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. Judge Cook received his law degree in 1969 and by 1971 he had opened a solo law practice in Griffin. Then the Superior Court Judges in the Griffin Circuit named him the part-time juvenile court judge for Spalding, Pike, Upson and Fayette Counties in 1985 and then the job became a full-time position in 1995; he retired from the court on June 30, 2005. He also was Griffin's Municipal Court judge from 1987 until 2012. In 1997, Judge Cook was widowed when his wife of 45 years, Ann Ross Cook, suffered an aneurysm. Then he married his second love, the former Marilyn Higgins Pitts, two years later and they were together until his death. There were many awards and honors over the years, including recognition from former Gov. Joe Frank Harris for the progressive approach he took with the kids in his court who could be saved from lives of crime. He received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International and in 2000 the Georgia Association of Juvenile Court recognized his dedication and support to Spalding County's foster parents and foster children. Judge Cook was a past president and a member of numerous local organizations and he frequently volunteered at Red Cross blood drives. He was a "life deacon" at the Griffin First Baptist Church where he had been a member since the 1950s. Judge Cook leaves behind; ---Daughters Rhonda Cook of Atlanta and Lori Cook Wood of Hiram. Son-in-law Dan Wood preceded him in death. ---Son Scott Cook and his wife, Tanoa, of McDonough and son Keith Cook and his wife, Nicole, of Kennesaw. ---Grandsons Coleman and Pearce Wood; Trenton, Conner and Brian Cook; and granddaughter Madison Cook. ---Step-daughters and their husbands; Charlene and Keith Pierce of Griffin and Paula and Rick Moreau of Hampton. Also step-grandson IT2(SW) Adam Pierce, U.S. Navy, and step-granddaughter Christy Mallard and her husband Stephen of Griffin. Sister-in-law Mona Harvey of Houston, TX. ---Brother Larry Cook, sister, Andrelyn Kersey and brother-in-law Terry Kitchens, all of Jackson. ---Several nieces and nephews. Judge Cook's funeral will be at the First Baptist Church in Griffin on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 11 a.m. and members of the legal community are invited to participate. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Conner-Westbury Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Family will receive friends at Conner-Westbury Funeral Home at 1891 West McIntosh Road, Griffin, on Friday, Aug. 30, 6-8 p.m. Instead of flowers, donations to the First Baptist Church Building Fund, in memory of Judge Cook, are appreciated. They can be made at P.O. Box 908, Griffin, Ga., 30224. Conner-Westbury Funeral Home, 1891 West McIntosh Road, Griffin. 770-227-2300 www.conner-westburyfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Aug. 30, 2013
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