May 7, 2020
Ronald “Ron” Duane Cook was born, May 31, 1936, to Leland and Bernice Cook in Twin Falls, Idaho where his dad worked as a lineman for the phone company for a short time. Most of Ron’s younger years were in Ionia, Kansas with and near his grandparents whom he dearly loved. After a few years they all moved to Southern California.
Ron was the oldest of four boys: Ron, Gerald, Marvin and Steven Cook. In the early 1950s, Ron’s folks moved to Dallas, Ore., but Ron had graduated from high school in Garden Grove, Calif., so he stayed behind and worked at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach as a welder on big jet planes. Ron had met his future wife, Diana Keon, in a church youth group that his parents taught; both Ron and Diana gave their hearts and lives to “The Lord Jesus” in their high school years. In 1956, they were married. In the next few years, they had three daughters: Carol Maye, Susan Carmel and Cindy Lee. In about 1959, they moved up to Salem Ore. At that time Ron taught himself “auto body” repair, which soon took him up to running large dealership body shops in Independence, Ore., and Lincoln City, Ore. He taught many other young men his profession. He was “The Best!”
Soon after moving to Lincoln City, Ron joined the “T.N.D.” (Taft, Nelscott, Delake Fire Department), where he served as a volunteer fireman, captain E.M.T. and the last two years of service as their “Fire Chief.” After taking family trips to Kansas for several years, Ron and his wife left Oregon and moved back to a small town, Jewell, in north central Kansas. They fell in love with the special, kind, loving, wonderful folks there. They made their home in Jewell for about 11 years. Ron bought a big shop and continued working on older pick-ups and cars. It was “his love.” After several strokes, and other health issues and a lot of encouragement from their three daughters, they made the move back to Oregon in 2016. He was always available to help his daughters, grandchildren and any family members to fix cars, re-build houses or help with any projects he could.
Ron developed dementia in the last few years. He would tell stories that would sometimes make his listeners sad, and other times make all laugh. That talented and sharp mind of his, was still thinking, talking and whistling to songs he liked.
Ron is survived by his wife of 64 years, Diana; their three daughters, Carol Cook, Susan Smith and Cindy Rinella and her husband, David; grandchildren, Julie Carter, Sheila Smith, Jesse Seeto, and wife, Christina, Jennifer Witt and husband, Bryan, Michael Rinella and wife, Alyssa, Rachel Woabright and husband, Nathan; great-grandchildren, Zoe Maricle, Sophia McCoy-Smith, Lucas Rinella, Milah Rinella, Tyler Wells, Makenzie Wells, Brayden Wells and Ellie Witt.
Ron’s funeral will be held at a later date. The Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center is caring for the family.