John Clark Cook died of pancreatic cancer Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at his home in Silverton. He was 72.
Known to his family as “Uncle John,” he was born in Chicago on July 8, 1940, to Everett and Helen Crawford. Helen later divorced Everett and married Vernon Cook, who adopted John and his older sister, Louise, when they were young.
Mr. Cook attended school in Rutherford, N.J., and attended his junior year of high school in Tucson, Ariz. He went on to graduate from Evanston Township High School in Illinois. He attended Northwestern University, where he majored in English literature and graduated at 1963.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965 in Fort Campbell, Ky.
Mr. Cook married Sonja Winsor in Chicago in 1968. They divorced soon after, and she preceded him in death. He worked for his stepfather in Chicago as the advertising manager of the Metallizing Co. of America. He became the president of the company in 1977 after his stepfather died. The company moved to Sullivan, Ill., in the 1970s.
In 1986, the Metallizing Co. of America was sold, and the sealant manufacturing branch of the company became AB Seals, of which John remained president. In 1959, Mr. Cook’s family came to Silverton for the first time and bought a house. The family spent many summers in Silverton, and he had an instant lifelong love of the San Juan Mountains. In 1997, he began spending his summers operating The Lookout Shop, a gift store in Silverton. Mr. Cook continued spending his summers in Silverton and his winters in Sullivan until the time of his death.
Mr. Cook loved hiking, Jeeping, talking to people, helping others and spending time with his family. He was always generous and kind, and loved to laugh, his family said. He was on the board of directors for Silverton’s “A Theatre Group,” performed countless shows as Sheriff Zeke in the Silverton Gunfights and served on the Silverton Chamber of Commerce.
In Sullivan, he converted the second floor of AB Seals into an art studio, a place where numerous local artists in Illinois can make art and network with each other.
Mr. Cook was preceded in death by his sisters Louise Johnson and Vicki Holloway.
Mr. Cook is survived by his sister; Melissa D. Gillon, of Silverton; 14 nieces and nephews; and six great-nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at the Kendall Mountain Recreation Center in Silverton. Flowers may be sent to the service that day, and donations may be made to Mr. Cook’s family in Silverton to help with expenses.
Mr. Cook’s ashes will be scattered on Kendall Mountain on his birthday next summer.