Jack graduated from Waco High School in 1945 and immediately enlisted in the Navy along with several of his classmates. He served two years on the USS Spangler, traveling to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan as well as ports in China and those of other U.S. allies. Upon returning to Waco, Jack met his future wife, Bettye Davis. Bettye grew up in Dawson, Texas, about 35 miles northeast of Waco, so both families welcomed their courtship. They married in April 1952, and gave birth to their son, Larry, the following year. Their daughter, Lisa, came seven years later.
Jack worked for Greyhound Bus Lines in Waco for 35 years. He was an avid do-it-yourselfer, taking on carpentry, mechanical or other projects that anyone needed help with. As with all his endeavors, Jack took much pride in his landscape and was well known to his neighbors for doing his own yard work until very recently.
Jack and Bettye moved to south Austin twenty years ago, following in the footsteps of both of their children. It wasn't long before all of their lives became intertwined and they enjoyed being close to their grandsons as they grew up, married and started families of their own. Jack was happiest in the last few years as he welcomed his three great-grandchildren and was looking forward to the fourth coming later this month. His face always lit up with their visits.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence J. Cook and Christy Netherland Cook of Waco, his older brother, Lawrence Cook, Jr. of Turlock, CA, and his grandson, Brian Cook of Austin, TX. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Bettye; children Larry Cook (Miki), Lisa Matthews (Garry); grandsons Garrett Matthews (Sharasa) and Kenny Matthews (Stephanie), as well as 3 great-grandchildren and one coming later this month. Also his siblings Richard Cook (Jane) of Waco and Betty Rendell (Mills) of Winnetka, Il and many beloved nieces and nephews.
There will be a closed visitation at Harrell Funeral Home preceding a small family graveside service at the Dawson Cemetery on Tuesday at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Meals on Wheels of Austin.