Joe Sullivan Cook, 89, of Cedar Rapids, passed the evening of May 17, 2021, at the Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy. He was born March 18,1932 to Joseph M. Cook & Nell A. (Sullivan) Cook in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Following graduation from Marion High School, Joe joined the Navy on July 1st, 1950. He served 4 years, 43 months of which was sea duty, nearly all in Korean waters & the far east on the U.S.S. Kaskaskia. He received nine U.S. medals & citations, including the Korean War Medal with seven campaign stars and the combat action ribbon. The Republic of South Korea issued him the Presidential Unit Citation and two other medals. Joe was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars & American Legion.
After his honorable discharge he eloped with Margaret Evans on July 10, 1954; on March 28, 1955, they married again at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with family and friends. Together they raised four children.
In his 36-year career with the Cedar Rapids Health Department (later called Linn County Health Department) he was instrumental in initiating and running the evening Public Health Clinic. When retired, he and Margaret were snowbirds for 22 years in Haines City, Florida. They enjoyed road trips throughout the country for Navy reunions. His hobbies ranged from photography, wine-making, archery, friendly poker games, and swimming. He loved his many pets. He most liked a cup of coffee in the morning with the paper while listening to jazz or big band music, and a glass of scotch in the evening.
Joe was preceded in death by his loving wife of 66 years Margaret; parents Nell and Joseph; sisters and their husbands Phyllis (Bill) Turner, Harriet (Gene) Streets, Shirley (Elwood) Mann; in-laws Johns and Virginia Evans, Raymond, Marlene, and Phillip Evans; two nieces Sandra (Turner) Wescott, Cheryle (Turner) Sackett; one nephew Gabe Williams; and “most everybody I knew” in youth.
Joe is survived by children Jennifer (Paul) Sankot of Belle Plaine, Tim (Anne) Cook of Cedar Rapids, Janice (Larry Granroth) Cook-Granroth of Iowa City, and Jo Cook of West Des Moines; grandchildren Chris (Laurel) Sankot of Amana, Jason Granroth of Iowa City, Cory (Hannah Larson) Sankot of Rochester MN, Justin Carolyn of Marion, Leah (Tony) Nguyen of Portland OR, and Nolan Cook of Cedar Rapids; great grandchildren Sworn, Sovereign, and Solace Sankot; his sister-in-law Martha Evans of Cedar Rapids; and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Visitation for Joe & Margaret will be held on Thursday, June 3rd, from 3:00-5:00 pm, at the Cedar Memorial Chapel Stateroom. Joe’s funeral will be held at 7:00 pm Thursday, June 3rd, at the Cedar Memorial Chapel Stateroom. A livestream of the service may be accessed on the funeral home website under the obituary for Joe Cook, under the video tab starting at 7:00 pm on Thursday. June 3, 2021.
Margaret’s funeral will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 5th, at St. Jude’s Catholic Church. A reception will immediately follow at the Cedar Memorial Family Center. Private interment will be held.
All guests are respectfully requested to wear a face mask and practice social distancing for the health and safety of others; there are family members with health issues.
Many thanks to Dr. Brownell and his entire staff, Doug at Blairs Ferry Family Pharmacy, the staffs at Mercy Hospital and Oldorf Hospice House for the excellent care provided to Joe.
Joe was an avid supporter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, The American Cancer Society, and HACAP; please donate in lieu of Flowers.