VeteranRonald Cook

Ronald CookRonald L. Cook, 96, of Industry died at 4:55 p.m. Sept. 14, 2017, at McDonough District Hospital in Macomb.

He was born Dec. 23, 1920, in Vermont, a son of Charles E. and Olive Cox Cook. He married Doris Mary Dohner on Dec. 31, 1942, south of Vermont. She survives.

Also surviving are three daughters, Ramona Cook of rural Industry, Linda (and Michael) Kuehl of Elgin and Mary Ann Cook (and Joseph Cusumano MD) of St. Louis, Mo.; one sister, Elizabeth (and Herb) Easley of Macomb; and one grandchild.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Raymond Cook.

He and his parents moved to Beardstown in 1922, where he attended school. In 1932, his family moved back to Vermont, where he graduated from Vermont High School in 1938. He then enrolled at Western Illinois State Teachers College, where he obtained his bachelors and masters degrees in chemistry. He did further graduate work at U of I, Wayne State and the University of Denver and was all-but-dissertation for his PhD.

He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in May of 1942, played on the USCG Bears basketball team and taught in the pharmacist’s mate school until he was discharged in 1943 due to disability obtained while on active duty.

He taught and coached in Illinois schools, including Coatsburg, Vermont, Morrison and Elgin. In 1962, he began teaching chemistry at Illinois State University in Normal. He retired in 1978 and moved to rural Industry, where he farmed and taught chemistry part time at Industry High School.

He is in the Hall of Fame at Morrison High School. He received the Valley Forge Foundation Award for excellence in teaching in 1961. He received the WIU Alumni Achievement Award in 1976 and was inducted into the Leatherneck Hall of Fame for track, football and basketball in 1998. He served on the Illinois Curriculum Council in the State Superintendent’s office at Springfield for almost 30 years.

He was a life member of the National Science Teachers, the National Education Association, Disabled Veterans and the American Legion. He worked diligently in the Illinois Association of Chemistry Teachers and was responsible for getting the annual meeting moved to ISU.

He coached for Morrison High School, Elgin Community College and ISU’s University High School and he served on the ISU athletic board as they negotiated membership in the Missouri Valley.

Funeral services were held Tuesday at Industry United Methodist Church with Rev. Bennett Woods officiating. Burial was in Chockley Cemetery near Industry. Worthington Funeral Home in Rushville was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Ronald and Doris Cook Scholarship at Western Illinois University.

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Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 9/20/2017


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