Remembering and honoring a life well-lived and trusting in God's perfect plan that it was time to take dad home. Harold (Hal) Victor Cook Jr. was born 03-08-1934 in Bensenville, IL and entered heaven on 01-20-2022.
He served his country for 20 years in the Air Force, including deployment to Japan, Vietnam and Johnston Island. He worked as an aircraft mechanic and was also awarded decorations for length of service, marksmanship and combat service. In 1956, on Thanksgiving Day, he married Judy Thomas in Bensenville, IL, and they later had two daughters. After retiring from the USAF, he attended and graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a teaching degree. He answered a call from Lakewood Lutheran School to teach elementary school and then later took a call to start a Lutheran school at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Yelm, WA. He dedicated those years to teaching and guiding the hearts and minds of his students, and each summer he brought the classroom Tarantula spider and Boa constrictor snake home to his office - much to the family’s dismay!
He loved his family, was generous and patient beyond measure and shared his joy for photography and eye for composition and light. He taught us by his example to love reading, the art of a well-written thank you note and the importance of volunteering in the community and church. He had a life-long gift for music, playing sax and the piano in high school and the sax and banjo in a combo band in the USAF. He sang in the chapel and church choir and gave piano and organ lessons for many years. He always played the best music at home on the organ, making toes tap, with songs like "Baby Elephant Walk". He was an avid bird watcher, a classic car enthusiast, never met a stranger, was well-liked, a sharp dresser, a smooth dancer and appreciated a good dry martini - and he let his girls sample the olives.
He was much loved and will be greatly missed by his devoted wife of 65 years, Judy Cook, daughters Lenora (Coleman) Gusler and Valerie (Ken) Christie; grandchildren Kevin Christie, Erica Christie-Jones (Nick Jones), Alexa Christie and Tara Christie; great granddaughters Andi Mae Christie and Everly Jones; and sister Lee Cook. Please keep us all in your prayers as we learn to navigate this life without him and hold fast to the promise that we will spend eternity together.