American Veteran 04

Michael L. Cook

July 24, 1949 ~ April 13, 2020 (age 70)


Michael Lee Cook, 70, was welcomed into his heavenly home on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 4:35 p.m. while a patient at the University of Iowa Hospital. He was able to spend his last Easter Sunday being loved by his family, including all of his grandchildren and his friend Tom.

Born on July 24, 1949, in Fort Madison, Iowa, to Bessie Cook, he went on to graduate Union High School in 1968.

He served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in both the Philippines and Hawaii before being honorably discharged. On September 11, 1970, he married his life-long partner, Wanda Essex. Together, they lived in Oquawka, Illinois where they raised their three daughters.

Mike worked for Maytag Manufacturing for 31 years. Following his retirement, he worked for two local school districts and concluded his work at United School District in 2014.

He was an active member of Oquawka United Methodist Church and served as the board chair for many years.

His greatest love was his family. In his spare time, Mike enjoyed the great-outdoors, gardening, mowing, playing games with family and friends, and spending time with many family pets. He also enjoyed many casino trips with his wife, Wanda, and his best friend, Tom.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, four siblings, and his father-in-law Jimmie Essex.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Wanda, three daughters, Pam (Jeff) Orwig of Galesburg, Paula Cook of Oquawka, and Angie (Bill) Dunning of Taylorsville, Kentucky; a proud grandfather of Kenna, Noah, Bryce, Jillian and Lillie; his sister, Joan Miller of Oquawka; his mother-in-law, Melva Essex of Oquawka; and his best friend and honorary brother of over 60 years, Tom Robbins of Oquawka.

A private service will take place on Saturday, April 18th for the immediate family only. A public celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate and may be left in the care of the funeral home.

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