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Thursday, March 16, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Thomas Rayburn (Ray) Cook, age 86, stepped into eternity on Saturday, March 11, 2023, after a prolonged illness. He was born on July 9, 1936, in Pioneer, Louisiana.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Bobbie Trichel Cook; two daughters, Celeste Cook Drost (Husband Joe Drost), and Kristi Cook Carter (Husband Troyce “Tracy” Carter, Jr.); six grandchildren, Christopher Jeston Harper, Alise Yvonne Carter Ward, Emily Celeste Harper Grassi, Cole Jefferson Carter, Jackson Spencer Carter, and Adam Thomas Harper; two stepchildren, Ken Norris and Rhonda C. Norris; four step grandchildren, Lauren Lavigne, Will Lavigne, Aaron Lavigne and Bobbie Rhonda Norris; two great grandchildren, Joseph Ray Grassi and Baby Girl Harper (due in August 2023); a sister, Joyce Cook Head; a niece, Teri Head Smith; a great niece, Lexi Smith Atwell (Husband Jerry Atwell); and great-great nephew, Connor Atwell. He is also survived by the mother of his two daughters, Lillian Jeanette Owens Cook.
Mr. Cook is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Jefferson Cook and Esther Estelle Hicks Cook; two grandchildren, Aaron Thomas Harper and Evan Gabriel Carter; a brother-in-law, Jimmy Head; and niece, Pamela Head.
He was a military veteran, serving four years in the United States Air Force and serving 25 years in the United States Army Reserve. He was recognized for outstanding contributions to strength improvement of the 95th Division Training.
Beginning his career at the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department, he was employed for 29 years from 1971 and retired in July 2000. He started his career as a Street Deputy and retired as Chief Deputy under the administration of Sheriff Charles "Chuck" Cook. During his tenure with the Sheriff's Department, he was promoted to Zone Sergeant, then was promoted to the Investigative Division until 1982. He also served as Supervisor of Civil, Tax and Court Support Divisions. He was then promoted to Major and served as Chief Civil Deputy until 1996, when he was promoted to Chief Deputy until his retirement in 2000. He also thoroughly enjoyed playing on the Department Softball Team for many years. He was known endearingly as "Cookie" to his co-workers.
He was instrumental in organizing the North Louisiana Civil Law Enforcement Association and was President of the West Monroe Boys and Girls Club for two years. He was on the Board of Directors for the Walter W. Kellogg Boys Club located in the Louisiana Training Institute, where he also served as President for two years.
He graduated from Pioneer High School in 1954 and attended Northwestern Louisiana University. He played baseball for Northwestern and was even contracted to go pro until an unfortunate injury ended his ball career. He also enjoyed playing golf and loved spending time with all of his grandchildren. One of his favorite things to do was to travel and spend time in Branson, MO.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at the First Methodist Church on Glenwood Drive in West Monroe, Louisiana, with Rev. Chris Winterman officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00 A.M. until service time on Thursday. Mr. Cook will be interred, with military honors presented by the United States Air Force, at the Northeast Louisiana Veteran’s Cemetery in Rayville, Louisiana.
He will forever be remembered as loving, funny and kind to everyone who knew him. He is now healthy and whole in the presence of Jesus.