James D. Cook ’55 died on November 21, 2017, in Concord, New Hampshire.
(The following was published in The Concord Monitor, November 27 – 28, 2017:)
James D Cook, 84, passed away in the arms of his wife and caregiver and surrounded by family on Tuesday, November 21 at the Birches in Concord.
Born in Somerville, MA, on September 12, 1933, the son of Forrest and Beatrice Cook, Jim was the middle of three brothers, with Peter the oldest, and Michael (“Butch”) the youngest. He graduated from Reading High School where he played football, and was a member of the Class of 1955 of Bowdoin College, his cherished alma mater.
Following an early career with Proctor and Gamble which he considered his “MBA,” Jim later joined his family’s business, Concord Litho, in 1960. Following a tragic plane crash that claimed the life of his brother and business partner, Peter, in 1973, Jim suddenly found himself alone at the helm of the company, which he led for the next 40 years. He was a gifted leader who developed strong personal relationships with his employees and clients, many of which endured after his retirement from the company.
Following a successful career in business, Jim became active in philanthropy to give back to his community. He served on the board of the YMCA and became a Concord Hospital Trustee in 2001 and a founding member of the Concord Hospital Trust in 2007. Jim and his wife, Marianne, are members of the Concord Hospital Cornerstone Society for their contributions and fundraising efforts to build the Payson Center’s Radiation Oncology Department and expand the Hospital’s Emergency Department.
He was a longtime member of Concord Country Club and loved to play golf, particularly with his sons and grandsons on sunny weekends. An avid tennis player, he often played friendly competition mixed doubles with his wife and friends at Bow Brook, Copoco, and the Concord Racquet Club. He also enjoyed skiing with his family at Sunapee and Cannon.
He and his wife shared a love of travel by sea, and have taken numerous cruises visiting North America, Europe, the Arctic Ocean, and the Middle East. One of his favorite trips; however, was his annual April pilgrimage to Augusta to see the Masters golf tournament with his sons, his favorite customers, and lifelong friends.
Jim will be fondly remembered by many for his kindness, charm, and wit. He was a patient and empathetic listener, took a genuine interest in others, and helped people whenever he could. He touched many lives and made countless friends along the way.
Jim is survived by his wife of 51 years, Marianne, and their children, Peter Cook (Kristen, with children Jonathan and Evan), of Bow, and Andrea Wing (Gary, with children Chase and Ava), of Bow. He is also survived by his children James Jr. (Margaret, with children Kaley and Paige) of Contoocook, Susan Bonifant (Larry, with children Courtney, Drew, Jacqueline, and Sam), of Hopkinton, Thomas Cook (Christine with children Ross and Collin) of Bow, and their mother, Dorothy Westwater of Contoocook. He is also survived by a grandson, Billy (son of William Cook, predeceased), and his sister in law, Carolyn of Florida (wife of Peter, predeceased), and her daughter, Hollis Cook, of Florida, as well as his sister in law, Gail of Newbury (wife of Michael, predeceased), and their sons, Craig, of Massachusetts, and Jeff, of Newbury. He is predeceased by his parents Forrest and Beatrice Cook, his older brother, Peter Cook, and his younger brother, Michael Cook, as well as his son, William Cook and nephews Forrest and Paul Cook (sons of Peter).