Edward K. Cook, Jr., age 89, of Mountain City, Tennessee, passed away on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. He was born on July 19, 1927, the son of the late Edward K. Cook and Myrtle Farley Cook of Pulaski County, Kentucky.
Mr. Cook was a graduate of Berea College. He earned a Master’s degree in education from East Tennessee State University, attended the Munich, Germany branch of Boston University, and accrued hours toward a doctorate in education from the Karlsruhe, Germany branch of the University of Southern California.
Mr. Cook was principal of Shouns Elementary and Mountain City Grammar Schools before accepting a position with the United States Dependent Schools, European Area (USDESEA). While overseas for 20 years, Mr. Cook served as the youngest of the five superintendents who oversaw American schools stretching from Pakistan to England. At one time, he had the unique position of simultaneously overseeing schools on three continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa) with schools in Greece, Crete, Libya, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Turkey. He was also variously stationed in England, Germany, and France. While in France, he supervised the closing of the American schools there as a result of the President Charles de Gaulle’s decree that all American bases be closed.
Mr. Cook was a member of the First United Methodist Church, where he served as Superintendent of Sunday School prior to going overseas. In recent years, he served on the Board of Trustees.
He served as publicity chair for the Johnson County Community Theater for several years. He was an enthusiastic horseman and raised Tennessee Walking Horses for 25 years. An expert gardener, he won Southeastern awards for giant pumpkins and squash. His latest challenge was giant watermelons. He was an active promoter of the Johnson County Pumpkin Festival.
Mr. Cook served on the Johnson County Bank Board of Directors for 25 years. In his later years, he was an avid reader and turned to writing with his first book, The Long Trail, followed by its sequel, The Trail’s End.
Mr. Cook was a Mason, and was one of the few surviving veterans of WWII in Johnson County, having served in the United States Navy.
He is survived by his wife, Evelyn McQueen Cook; his daughter, Stephanie L. Cook (and her husband, Dr. Masaru Okabe); grandson, Kye L. Okabe; the families of various beloved nieces and nephews, and numerous friends.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, October 13 at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Mountain City.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Cook-Everett Fund at Heritage Hall, PO Box 86, Mountain City, TN 37683 or Johnson County Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM), PO Box 272, Mountain City, TN 37683.
At other times, the family will receive friends at the home, 253 N. Church Street, Mountain City, TN.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.mountaincityfh.com.
The family of Edward K. Cook, Jr. has entrusted his services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.