Gordon Cook passed away at his home in Pendleton, Oregon on April 17, 2022 at the age of 91. He was born April 2, 1931 in Twisp, Washinton to Harvey and Nellie Cook, the third of four children. He was three years old when his father drowned and the youngest brother was three weeks old. His mother married Arthur Gillette in 1938 and added a sister to the family. The family was extremely close celebrating most holidays and vacations together. One summer the family repurposed an old bus into a motor home. It was beautifully crafted and named the Family Special. Twenty one family members took it on vacation to Disneyland.
Gordon graduated from Long Creek High School in 1951. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1951 and was discharged in 1955. His ships were stationed mostly in the Japan and Korea areas during the Korean War. He married Shirley Dinsmore in John Day. Children born to that marriage were Andy, Cindy and a stillborn son, Ricky Joe. Shirley and Gordon were later divorced. In 1962 Gordon married the love of his life, Mary Rookstool, in Boise, Idaho. Mary brought two daughters, Teri and Tawny, to the family. The four children were ages 1, 2, 2 and 3. The marriage was a great success. The family lived in Idaho, until moving to Pilot Rock, Oregon in 1974. He joined his brother, Jack in a logging operation. For the next 32 years, Gordon drove many different types of trucks, retiring at age 75. He was considered an excellent driver by his employers and co-workers. He came from a long line of family truck drivers who passed on the skills.
Gordon was a beacon of light to his family and everyone who knew him. He always had a smile and something positive to say, most of the time. He had a great sense of humor, sometimes with colorful language and his own personal sayings. He had a wonderful attitude right up until the day he passed. He was able to celebrate his 91st birthday with his “little bride” of 59 years, friends and family at the Eagles Lodge in Pendleton. Gordon was a long-time member of the Eagles, where he made many lifelong friends and was thought of as an icon. He was well known for preparing garbage can turkeys, cooking up to 17 at a time, for some Lodge occasions. He passed this tradition onto many others. He and Mary enjoyed camping, fishing and all outdoor activities, especially when they involved family.
Gordon was preceded in death by his father, Harvey; mother and step-father, Nellie and Arthur Gillette; sister, Zada VanVoorhis; brothers, Jack Cook (Betty) and Pete Cook (Donna); one grandson Michael; nephews Jerry and Kenny Cook; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Gordon is survived by his wife, Mary Cook; sister, Janet Morris (Dallas); children, Andy(Becky) Cook, Cindy Cook (Paul), Teri Prock and Tawny McLaren; grandchildren, Jennifer Warner, Joslyn Harp, Randy Fender, Jamie Wright, Stephanie Cook, Andrew Cook, Kristin Zacharias, Tandy Schwiegart, Ryan McLaren and Megan Fender; 20 great-grandchildren and 2 great- great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. Gordon was loved dearly and will be missed by all who knew him. His favorite goodbye was always, “Love You Bunches”.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2022 and the Eagles Lodge, 428 Main Street, Pendleton, Oregon, 97801. Online condolences may be sent to www.pioneerchapel.com.