William K. Cook, age 89 of Callahan, FL passed away on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Forida.
He was born in Tallahassee, Florida on October 26, 1929 to loving parents Eva Patterson Cook and Dessie Roland Cook.
He graduated from Leon High in 1946. After graduation he moved to Callahan, Florida to join his uncle’s turpentine and pulp wood business. In 1950, he joined the United States Air Force during the Korean War. In 1954 he returned to his career in Callahan where he began building his forestry legacy. In February 1955 he married Betty Pickett Cook, a nurse and later a philanthropist who not only became the Director of Nursing for the Nassau County Health Department but would serve as Nassau County’s first woman County Administrator. Together they had two sons, William Kindree Cook, Jr. and Robert Patterson Cook.
The Cook’s loved being parents and grandparents, traveling, playing golf and family. Betty P. Cook was his lifelong partner and wife until her death in 2013. They were married for 58 years.
During Mr. Cook’s life he had many accomplishments including, President of the Florida Forestry Association, Chairman of the Board Nassau County State Banks, creation of the Florida Forestry Foundation, Florida Forestry Tree PAC, as well as being honored to the prestigious Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2017. Mr. Cook was a true leader, entrepreneur, and family man.
He is survived by his sons, William Kindree Cook, Jr., Robert Patterson Cook (Michele); grandchildren, Dr. William Burgess Cook, Robert Patterson Cook, Jr. (Elizabeth), Caroline Michele Cook, sisters, Kathryn Cook Cox, Betty Cook Miller, Kate Cook Raulerson (Ray) and many loving nieces and nephews and dear friends.
Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Callahan on Monday, July 15, 2019 beginning at 11:00 AM with Pastor Lynn Hyatt officiating.
Mr. Cook will be laid to rest with his wife at Live Oak Baptist Church Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Advance Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic Florida and they may be directed to the Mayo Clinic Development Office, 4500 San Pablo Road, South, Jacksonville, FL 32224.