John Clark Cook, 72, died of pancreatic cancer at 2:45 a.m. at his home in Silverton, on Nov. 19, 2012.
Known to his family as “Uncle John,” he was born in Chicago, on July 8, 1940, the son of Everett and Helen Crawford. Helen later divorced Everett and married Vernon Cook, who adopted John and his older sister, Louise, when they were young.
John is preceded in death by his mother, father, stepfather, older sister Louise Johnson, and younger sister Vicki Holloway. John is survived by his youngest sister, Melissa D. Gillon, of Silverton, as well as 14 nieces and nephews, and 6 great-nieces and nephews.
John attended school in Rutherford, New Jersey, his junior year of high school in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated high school from Evanston Township High School in Illinois. He attended Northwestern University with a major in English Literature, and graduated college in 1963.
John served his country in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965 in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. John was briefly married to Sonja Winsor in Chicago in 1968. They divorced soon after, and she preceded him in death. John worked for his stepfather in Chicago, as the advertising manager of the Metallizing Company of America, and became the president of the company in 1977 after Vernon Cook died. The company moved to Sullivan, Ill., in the 1970s.
In 1986, the Metallizing Company of America was sold, and the sealant manufacturing branch of the company became AB Seals, of which John remained president.
In 1959, John’s family came to Silverton, for the first time and bought a house. The family spent many summers in Silverton, and John 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. He continued spending his summers in Silverton and his winters in Sullivan, up until the time of his death.
John loved hiking, jeeping, talking to people, helping others, and spending time with his family. He was always generous and kind, and loved to laugh. He was on the board of directors for Silverton’s A Theatre Group, performed countless shows as Sheriff Zeke in the Silverton Gunfighters Association performances, and served on board of the 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.
A Celebration of Life will be held for John at 3 p.m. on 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 John’s family in Silverton to help with expenses.
Hood Mortuary in Durango, will handle John’s cremation. His ashes will be scattered on Kendall Mountain on his birthday next summer.