David George Cook, born on January 21, 1940, passed away peacefully on August 28, 2021, at the age of 81, in his Grand Rapids home. He was surrounded by his loving wife Nancy Olsen Cook of 60 years, and their three children and spouses: Mitchell & Jeanne Cook, Connie Cook Billett, and Amy & Peter Stuursma.
Dave was born and lived in Grand Rapids and lived in East Grand Rapids until his junior year in high school, when he moved to Birmingham, MI, where he met the love of his life, Nancy Olsen. They both graduated from Birmingham (Seaholm) High School in 1957.
Grandpa DD was adored by his family and especially his grandchildren: David, Merritt, Sam & Jillian Cook; Ben & Lucy Billett; Hannah, Robbie & Mitchell Stuursma. The feeling was mutual as he loved watching his grandkids play their sports or just sitting around and “talk about our feelings.” He especially loved sharing his love of cookies and Hudsonville ice cream.
Known as Dave, DG, DD, Cooker, and Cookie by all who loved him, Dave lived with dementia related to Alzheimer’s disease, but that did not stop him. He continued to attend graduations, sporting events, and dinner dates with his beloved family and friends until the last week of his life.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents Herman and Polly Cook, and brother and sister-in-law Richard (Skip) and Carol Cook, and his nephew Richard D. Cook. Dave remained close with his sister Connie (Derek) Hanson, sister-in-law Carol Yeomans (Paul) Phelan; and brother-in-law William (Carol) Olsen. Dave loved his nieces and nephews, and many grandnieces and nephews.
Dave attended Dartmouth College, was a member of the college swim team, as well as a member of ROTC and Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He graduated with a B.A. in Economics, Dartmouth College in 1961. Dave and Nancy were married on June 17, 1961. Dave graduated with an M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business the following year.
Dave proudly served our country and was assigned to Fort Eustis, Virginia. He served as a Transport Officer in the Army and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
In 1966, Dave and his brother Skip bought L.G. Cook Distributor Inc., a small hardware distribution company. They expanded the company into a large regional company over the next 30 years. L.G. Cook was a leader in the hardware industry and achieved great advances in distribution management and customer relationships. Dave was a wonderful mentor and friend to his employees and customers.
Dave and Nancy committed to maintaining their relationships with their military, high school, college, ski groups, and lifelong friends. Dave and Nancy, and their family, enjoyed friendships that spanned from East Grand Rapids, MI to Birmingham, MI, to Hanover, NH, to Fort Eustis, VA to Glen Ellyn, IL, and Englewood FL. Dave’s favorite place was Lake Michigan near Grand Haven, MI. In 1975, they bought their cottage, known as “Camp Cook,” and have enjoyed decades of amazing memories with family, friends, and neighbors.
Dave’s life was a life well-lived. He cherished his relationships with his friends, family, business associates, and touched the lives of all of those who came to know him. Many considered Dave to be like a brother, father, grandfather, and mentor. Above all, everyone who knew Dave would say Dave “he was just a good guy.”
If you were a friend of the family, you were part of Dave’s family too. If you came to the cottage, you were welcome on the beach, to burn his gasoline, sit by the bonfire, and share his cookies.
Throughout his life, Dave served on many business advisories and volunteer boards, including the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation. Dave’s generous spirit continues with his choice to be an organ and tissue donor, where many people will benefit from Dave’s final act of kindness.
We will all miss Dave dearly, but we know he is at peace, and his memory and love will be with us forever.
Visitation will take place at Metcalf & Jonkhoff, 4291 Cascade Road, on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A funeral service will be held at Mayflower Congregational Church, 2345 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 on Thursday, September 2, 2021, at 1:00 p.m.
In place of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the following organizations: East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation at 2915 Hall Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 or the Alzheimer’s Association.
To send flowers to David's family, please visit our floral store.