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Richard's Story

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NORTH ANDOVER, MA: Richard Donald Cook was born April 19, 1926, and raised in Rochester, N.Y. After high school, he joined the Air Force and trained as a B26 pilot at the end of World War II. Following the war, he went to Hobart College and graduated with a business degree. He met Solveig Helleland on a blind date while in college. She eventually became his wife of 63 years. After college, he started working for the Equitable Life in Springfield, Mass., and was transferred to Tulsa, Okla., where he married, Solveig and had two sons, Eric and Bruce. He was transferred to Manhattan and worked there until his retirement. While in the New York area, he was a Deacon at both the Tenafly and New Milford, N.J., Presbyterian Churches and a member of the Men’s club. He was elected to the New Milford Board of Education and was chosen as its President.

Upon retiring, he and Solveig moved to Geneva, N.Y., where he was active in the Historical Society, The Presbyterian Church, the Hobart College Alumni Association, The Geneva Country Club and Rotary. In 2001, they moved to North Andover and lived in the Edgewood Retirement Community to be close to their grandchildren and to take advantage of the high quality health care in the area. He served on the Board of Trustees at Edgewood for 11 years. He championed the construction of the Dementia Center and was able to see Solveig benefit as one of its first patients. He was the voice of the residents on Edgewood's 2008 expansion which included the Dementia Center, the Bistro, the Cottages and the development of the Wellness

After Solveig’s death, he remained active playing golf and bridge. He enjoyed attending a variety of cultural events and underwrote an annual organ concert at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall. He met Jean Hersee and they were able to spend many happy times together. Richard is survived by his sons, Eric John Cook of Hudson, Fla., and Terryville, Conn., and his wife, Patrice Benoit Cook and granddaughter, Brittany Benoit, and Dr. Bruce Richard Cook of Andover, Mass., and his wife, Karla and three grandsons, Garrett John Cook of Brooklyn, N.Y., Geoffrey Alton Cook of Andover, and Graham Richard Cook of Andover. He was predeceased by his wife, Solveig (Helleland) Cook, as well as his parents, Albert Jacob Cook and Emmarose (Beyer) Cook; and brother, Albert William Cook. He will also be missed by his wife's sisters, Astrid Mulvey and Elsa Allen, as well as two generations of nieces and nephews.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held in the auditorium at Edgewood, 7500 Osgood Street, North Andover, MA at 11 a.m., on Saturday, April 2, 2016. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, MA; the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts; or the Treasure Cove Scholarship Fund at Edgewood.
Published on  March 28, 2016
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