Fred G. Cook, Jr., age 66, of Poynette, suddenly left this earthly home to be with
our Lord and Savior on April 15, 2004. Fred was born in Hillsboro on May 5, 1937,
to Fred G. Cook, Sr. (Ted) Cook and Adelene James (Jimmie) Cook. He
graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1955, and served in the U.S. Air Force
from 1955-1959. He was stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base in Lincoln, Neb.
where he met his bride, Elizabeth (Betty) Fern Torske of Heartwell, Neb. They
married on November 22, 1958, in Lincoln, Neb. Fred worked briefly in the early
1960s for WISCO Hardware, a proud, Wisconsin wholesale firm founded partly by
his grandfather, O. B. James. He then worked for the Wisconsin State Dept. of
Transportation (Dept. of Highways) from 1963-1994, in Madison, before
embarking on what he referred to as his "last, great adventure" (retirement). He
also worked as the host of the "Old Timers Jamboree" on WIBU-AM in Poynette,
from 1969-82 (taking the on-air name of "Cookie"), a job that he loved so much
that he often said that he "would have done it for free." He led a remarkably rich
and full community life in Poynette, as a Scout Leader, member of the Volunteer
Fire Department, church elder at First Presbyterian Church, member of the
Jaycees, and member of the Poynette Historical Society. He also carried on a
great love affair with his hometown, Hillsboro, which he took great delight in
frequently visiting with his wife and children over a forty-year period. In 2002, he
began contributing a weekly column in the Hillsboro Sentry-Enterprise called
"Hillsboro, My Hillsboro" in which he regaled readers with stories of his colorful
upbringing in that town. He soon changed the title to "Hillsboro, OUR Hillsboro"
after realizing that some of his best stories were contributed by readers who wrote
to him to "set the record straight." One of Fred's greatest loves in retirement was
Civil War Reenacting and he was a proud member of the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer
Infantry, Company K (Reenactor), in which he served both as an infantryman and
Chaplain, for over ten years. He was also presently serving as Camp Commander
in the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), for Henry Harden
Camp #2, in Madison. Another great thrill in retirement was serving as a docent
for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison. Fred was very proud of his
political involvement with both the Republican Party (serving on one memorable
occasion as a delegate to the State Party Convention) and the Wisconsin
Right-to-Life Association. He loved music of all genres (but especially Jazz), any
gathering of three or more people, telling and writing stories, aviation of any kind,
teasing his Nebraska and Kansas in-laws, and camping under the stars. People who
met him just once never forgot the experience. Surviving him is his wife of 45
years, Betty; sons, Jim (Diane) Cook of Mount Horeb and Christopher (Susan)
Cook of Stoughton; daughters, Rebecca (Jeff) Seglem of Wallingford, Pa., Lori
(Bill) Bessler of Madison, and Mary (Patrick) Rice of Delavan; a daughter-in-law,
Monica Cook of Randolph; sixteen grandchildren; and innumerable friends,
neighbors, and fellow enthusiasts, all of whom will sadly mourn his absence. He
was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Jimmie Cook; a brother, James
Nathan Cook; and a beloved son, Fred G. Cook, III. Funeral services will be held
at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20, 2004, at the PFLANZ MANTEY MENDRALA
FUNERAL HOME in Poynette, with the Rev. Doug VanEssen officiating. Burial
will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Vernon County,
Hillsboro. Friends may call on Monday, April 19, 2004 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at
Memorials may be sent to the care of the family in Poynette.