John Cook (1930 - 2018)

Obituary
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    - Becky

Longtime Alaskan John Cook, 88, passed peacefully Saturday, July 14, 2018 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Services are Friday July 27 at Soldotna Church of God, 105 W. Redoubt, Soldotna, officiatd by Pastor Allan Humphries. Viewing will be from 12:00–1:30p.m. and service at 2 p.m. A brief graveside service will be held at Soldotna Memorial Cemetery. Coffee, snacks and memories after.

John was born in 1930 in Martins Ferry, Ohio, and grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, one of seven children born to Jess Ambrose Cook and Clara Wright Cook. Siblings were James, Betty, Charles, Jerry, George, and Terry Cook, all of Ohio. John was a businessman at the early age of 8, selling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the corner of fourth and Market St. with brother Jim in downtown Steubenville to help the family. He and his lifelong friend Norman Walker loved dressing up as boys in a cape and startling passersby, leaping out shouting "the Shadow knows," after a famous radio show.

John joined the Air Force before graduation. At 18 he followed a dream of being stationed in Alaska. He remembers arriving in 1949 on a ship in Whittier, gazing at majestic mountains and thinking, "I'm home." John graduated at Anchorage High School in 1951. He met the love of his life, Carol Rydberg, on a blind date in Anchorage in 1951. Carol and John had five daughters and were married 64 years before she passed in 2016. John was a lineman, cable splicer, and electrician. He started two successful businesses - Cooks Corner Tesoro and Peninsula Pumping in Sterling. He was a member of the Masons, a Shriner, Lions Club, and a longtime friend of Bill W. He was one of the founding members of the Wilderness Jamboree, which held its 44th annual gathering the night John died. He was a homesteader with his wife Carol off Three Johns Road in Sterling. He lived in Alaska 65 plus years.

While in the hospital, John was surrounded by loving sons-in-law, daughters, devoted grandchildren and great grandchildren. Local Anchorage grandkids Chris and Rachel Ragula, Tyler Ragula and Kara Ragula, Amy and Lesley Hampton and Kaitlin Hampton, Gavin Youngberg and Cameron and Jenna Farrally and Madi Whittenberg were almost daily by his side. Out-of-state grandchildren face timed weekly. Special thanks to his caregiver angels from Soldotna, Dale, Leah, Kirsten, and Gary.

John is survived by his five loving daughters and husbands, Theresa Cook Lyons and Dave Lyons of Anchorage, Catherine Cook Slawter and Ted Slawter of Tennessee, Betty Cook Whittenberg and Robert Whittenberg of Soldotna, Alaska, Sylvia Cook Youngberg and Val Youngberg of Hope, Alaska, and Carolyn Cook Langley and Rick Langley of Mississippi. John leaves behind 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. John's life force was as strong as an Alaskan boretide - he lived life on his own terms. The night before he passed John got out of bed, walked to the door and said "I'm going to see Carol."

Arrangements made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel & Crematory. Please visit or sign his online guestbook at AlaskanFuneral.com.
Funeral Home
Peninsula Memorial Chapel
5839 Kenai Spur Hwy.
Kenai, AK 99611
907-283-3333
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Published in The Peninsula Clarion on July 23, 2018
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