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Richard P. Cook

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Richard P. Cook, 82, passed away on Sunday, September 28, 2014. He held leadership posts in the Franklin Art Association, winning many awards, and was founder of Manjulas Children, a private support project that has helped educate more than 50 young people in Tamil Nadu, India, 35 through college. He was a baptized Seventh Day Adventist and was active in the Church of South India-New England. Prior to retirement in 1997, he had worked primarily as an editor and columnist with newspapers in Billerica and Burlington, MA before going on to become an editor with the Lowell Sun for 28 years. After serving with the US Army in the Korean War, he worked for the New England Home for Little Wanderers in Boston and Waterford Country School in CT. He was involved in countless organizations. He organized the Franklin Cougar Boys Club in 1948, and was active in starting the Franklin Little League in 1953, and was director of the Merchants Basketball League. Later, he served as scoutmaster of Troop 55, BSA in Billerica which featured international exchanges; placed foreign exchange students; was a district chair for Campfire Girls; helped organize a Youth Philharmonic Orchestra; coached competitive swimming; ran a junior sailing program for 12 years; auditioned dancers; judged beauty pageants; and was a National Park Ranger in Lowell and taught nature programs for the Audubon Society. He had been an avid hiker, running hiking trips in NH and NM, as well as cycling trips. He was an authority on Civil War General Ben Butler. Born in Franklin on August 12, 1932, he was the son of the late Leroy M. and Lillian Parker Cook, and brother of the late Robert, David and Lois Cook. He grew up on a family farm and worked from the age of 12, grading eggs, delivering milk and bread. He is survived by sponsored daughters, Barathi Jayapal of Land O Lakes, FL; and by Kavitha Balan of Malaysia, Kamala and Radha Balan of Erode, Tamil Nadu, India. His late wife, Manjula Jesi Cook, who died in 2007, had been a teacher with Bright Horizons Family Solutions at EMC2 in Hopkinton. Friends and family are welcome to attend a graveside service at Union Street Cemetery in Franklin at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday, October 4. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Dicks memory may be made to Manjulas Children c/o Barathi Jayapal and sent to Barathi Jayapal, 3338 Granite Ridge Loop, Land O Lakes, FL 34638-6192. Arrangements are under the care of the Charles F. Oteri & Son Franklin Funeral Home 33 Cottage St. Franklin, MA. Guestbook/directions www. oterifuneralhome.com.

Published in The Country Gazette from Oct. 2 to Oct. 9, 2014
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