DAVID COOK

Obituary
  • "As a young legal intern in the DA's Office in Oklahoma..."
    - Dana James-Laverty
  • "David-you were my mentor out of law school and I will..."
    - Chuck Pankey
  • "Judge Cook was one of my professors at OCU Law. Absolutely..."
    - James Clark
  • "Gayle, you are in our thoughts and prayers."
    - Sue and Charles Putman

September 2, 1918 - May 29, 2014 EDMOND Retired District Judge David M. Cook died on May 29, 2014 at the age of 95. At his request a private graveside service was held for the immediate family only. Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Thomas Harvey Cook and Lucrezia B. Smith, David attended Lincoln Grade School, Webster Junior High, and graduated from Central High School, where he enjoyed speech, drama, and won the National Oratorical contest. He next entered the University of Oklahoma where he joined Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and made life long friends. His studies continued at OU Law School, and during the spring semester of 1942, following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, David and the other senior law students were called to the Dean's Office, awarded their law degrees early, and taken to the Oklahoma Supreme Court where they were sworn in by the Chief Justice, as some would not return from their service in World War II. David married Mary Jean Carver of Wewoka, Oklahoma on September 21, 1940, and they were married until her death on September 9, 1965. They had two children, David T. Cook and Cynthia J. Cook, the latter having died on August 30, 1973. As one of the greatest generation, David served as an Army artillery officer and forward observer during World War II for 31/2 years in the South Pacific, participating in five major campaigns and five beach-head landings in the Philippines and New Guinea. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action, and two Bronze Stars with Oak Leaf Cluster, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After the war, David returned to Oklahoma, practiced law in Wewoka with his father-in-law and served as County Judge in Seminole County for 3 years. Later he was employed in the legal department of Skelly Oil Company in Tulsa for 6 years, handling work before the Federal Power Commission. Having engaged in the general practice of law for some 25 years in Wewoka and Oklahoma City, he was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar Association for over 70 years, the Oklahoma County Bar Association, was admitted before the U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma and to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. David was then appointed District Judge of Oklahoma County to fill the unexpired term of District Judge Clarence Mills, at a time when Oklahoma County had only five District Judges. He was then elected and served as a District Judge of Oklahoma County from 1973 to 1991, while simultaneously serving as an Adjunct Professor of law at Oklahoma City University for 20 years, teaching Evidence, Contracts, Creditors Rights and Property Law, where he enjoyed mentoring future lawyers. Retirement in December 1990 lasted only a few months before he took Active-Retired status as a District Judge from 1991 through 2007, taking assignment for trials and dockets throughout Oklahoma in both civil and criminal areas of law. He served as Temporary Oklahoma Court of Appeals Judge by assignment of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and served as a settlement conference judge for the Oklahoma Supreme Court from 1991-2007, while also serving as a private arbitrator and mediator in all types of civil lawsuits. David was a charter member and Master of the Bench of The Luther Bohannon Inn of Court, was the first recipient of the Oklahoma Bar Association's Earl Sneed Award for outstanding continuing legal education contributions, was the first recipient of the Leo H. Whinery Distinguished Award for outstanding contributions to the Oklahoma Law of Evidence, and was the 2003 recipient of The Journal Record Award for lifetime achievement in the legal profession, awarded jointly by the Journal Record Newspaper and The Oklahoma County Bar Association. He also received numerous awards from the Oklahoma Bar Association for teaching countless continuing legal education seminars to attorneys on the Law of Evidence. Throughout his life David enjoyed his many friends, including many from his Phi Gamma Delta fraternity days at OU, who gathered yearly for lunch and kept in touch for over 60 years, as well as many friends at Pacer Fitness Center, and members of the bench and bar with whom he proudly served as a judge. On April 17, 1981 he married his second wife, Gayle, with whom he began many adventures over the next 33 years. He rode elephants in India, back packed all over Europe, traveled to more than 40 countries, learned to snow ski at age 65 and liked it so much he bought his own skis and enjoyed it for another 10 years, often traveling to Beaver Creek/Vail, and was still on the treadmill at Pacer Fitness into his late 80's and for as long as his health allowed. David enjoyed classical music, jazz, and memorizing and quoting passages from the plays of William Shakespeare, both in and out of the courtroom, was an early board member for Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park and a long time supporter of Lyric Theater and Free to Live Animal Sanctuary. He was a member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church for over 50 years. It was a life well lived. He is survived by his wife, Gayle of the Edmond home, son, David T. Cook (wife Toni), three grandsons, John Cook, Andrew T. Cook (wife Michelle), and William C. Cook, and by one great granddaughter, Madelyn Ann Cook, all of Oklahoma City, and by his four Boston Terrier pals, Georgie, Gracie, Sophie and Penny. The family would like to thank Dr. William Cook and Dr. Sandy Elliott for their excellent and compassionate care. "Our revels now have ended. These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air; And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep." Shakespeare, The Tempest. In memory of David, contributions may be made to .

Published in The Oklahoman on June 29, 2014
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