Final Farewell

Donald Cooks passed away in his home on October 7, 2013. He was 90 years old.  He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Opal Cooks, and his four children – Michael Cooks, Vicki Mckinnis, Luanne Clague and Jill Hill – and nine grandchildren.

Don was born in 1923 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and grew up during the Great Depression. His father, Victor Cooks, was a labor organizer and worked towards establishing progressive measures for the poor and the middle class. Both his father and the historical context of his childhood had a profound influence on Don’s life. In 1958, Don moved to California to begin his teaching career. He worked directly with the poor living in the projects in Pittsburgh, and later went into upper-level administration for the final years of his career. Upon retirement in 1978 he moved to Nevada City.

During his retirement years he volunteered for the Senior Citizen Center transporting kidney dialysis patients to Sacramento, delivering meals on wheels, establishing the free income tax service for the senior citizens, and volunteering for Hospice by visiting nursing home patients with his therapy dog, Molly.

He was an iconoclastic writer and contributed regularly to the editorial section of the Nevada Union newspaper. Don also started a personal blog covering topics such as politics, history, inequality, and war. His writing-style was a mix of truth and satire. Don’s goal was to provoke thought and give a voice to the destitute and oppressed.

Don’s other hobbies included golf – a pastime he and Opal shared, camping, and traveling. He participated in agility and obedience training with his dog, Molly, and had her perform several times at the county fair as well as in nursing homes and schools. He was a dedicated husband and father.

A family memorial is planned for the spring. He was aided by Hospice in his final months, and they were a great help to his family.


4 responses to “Final Farewell

  1. Sali Cosford Parker

    Peace, Uncle Don. You will be sorely missed.

  2. I will very much miss you Don; You’ve been a great friend and example through the years. I’ve learned what true riches are through you and O. I count it a great privilege, honor and blessing to have been your son-in-law.
    Thank you for the memories and relationship. You will be sorely missed more than you know.

  3. In 2000 my mom, Joyce (adjusting to my dad’s loss that year) & I visited cousin Don & Opal. They were so much fun to be around- taking us to Biblical Gardens nature area, lunching in Nevada City outdoors, having Don demonstrate Molly’s amazing therapy training… In WI I’d share w. my mom Don’s latest computer articles. Don- kind, wise, witty & loving family man, dearly missed. – My deepest sympathy to all. Colleen

  4. Like his father, Don cared deeply for his country. He wrote from his heart, sharing his attitude and criticism of what was right and what was wrong with how our country was run. He had immense love for his family and shared this too. I will miss him for the rest of my life because he was my cousin and my close friend. With love, Joyce Weber

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