Kenneth R. "Wookie" Cook

  • Born: August 27, 1974
  • Died: April 11, 2016
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

gayandciha@gayandciha.com
Tel. (319) 338-1132

Tribute & Message From The Family


Kenneth R. "Wookie" Cook, age 41 lifetime resident of Iowa City, died Monday, April 11, 2016, surrounded by his family and friends following his fight with cancer.

Funeral services will be held at 7pm Thursday, April 14, 2016, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service, where visitation will be after 5 pm until services and following the services. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Iowa City Hospice, who have cared for Ken and his family in their usual loving and professional ways! Online condolences may be sent for his family through the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com.

Ken was born August 27, 1974, in Iowa City the son of Robert "Cookie" and Linda (Hartley) Cook. Growing up in Iowa City he attended Regina Catholic Schools graduating in 1993 and later attended Kirkwood Community College for a couple of years. His first job outside of the paper route he had for years was working for his father at the former Pearsons Pharmacy in Iowa City. He later worked for Randall's Grocery Store, the former Osco's now CVS Pharmacy, and for past 13 years you would see his gentle giant stature behind the counter at Lenoch & Cilek Ace Hardware Store, their eastside location. He also enjoyed his "hobby jobs" at That's Rentertainment and Sal's Music Emporium.

In high school, Ken lettered in Drama, as a thespian he played lead male role in Hello Dolly. Ken enjoyed many passions in his life, playing bass and singing vocals in local bands over the years, listening to all forms of music, especially heavy metal and rock, writing novels that he began in high school, watching and reading any movies and stories of horror, and true to Ken's nature he truly loved his family, many friends and so many animals along the way. If you knew Ken, you knew a man who could stand over you, almost intimidate you, but would be the most caring friend you would ever have. He was always fighting for the underdog in our world!

His family includes his mother and her husband, Linda and Darrell Flinn; dearest soulmate, Eleanor Ray; grandmother, Mildred Hartley; aunt, Syndey Jane Alber; two step-brothers, Brad Flinn and Brian Flinn, Uncle Tom Hartley and his family; and so many very dear friends; all who already miss their "Wookie"!

He was preceded in death by his father, grandparents, and beloved dog, Verni.


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Ken was a great roommate to my son. What a heart of gold! Ken, may the longtime sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the Pure Light within you guide your way Home.

Posted by Barbara Jo Matson - MI - Friend   April 19, 2016

Our son was in Ken's class, and we have known Ken for many years through Regina and the hardware store. We are very sorry for your loss, and you will be in our prayers.

Posted by Julie and Steve Lacina - Iowa City,, IA   April 17, 2016

Candle

I extend my deepest sympathy to Ken's family. I went to high school with Ken and we lost touch after that. He was a couple of grades ahead of me, but we had study halls together and did plays together. I remember Ken was always kind to me and had the best sense of humor, which I appreciated then, just as much as I do now. My heart goes out to you and please know that I will think of him and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Jane Christy

Posted by Jane Christy - Iowa City, IA - Classmate   April 17, 2016

I was so surprised to hear of Ken's passing. He would probably not even know my name, and I didn't know his - but our paths crossed both at Osco's and Lenoch and Celik where I was a customer. I always enjoyed having him wait on me.

This just shows what a presence a person can have - way beyond anyone's knowledge. I hope knowing this helps comfort you....

Pam

Posted by Pam Butler - Iowa City, IA - Teacher   April 16, 2016

I worked with Ken many years ago at Osco Drug on Muscatine Ave. He was a good person to work with- always very friendly and willing to share his interest in music. It was nice to catch up with him when I would see him at Ace Hardware. My husband, Swen Larson, went to school with Ken from Lucas all the way through City High. We were sad to hear of his passing, and are so sorry for your loss. We will always remember Ken fondly. We will pray for you and your family.

Posted by Kelly Triplett Larson - iowa city, IA - Coworker   April 14, 2016

So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you.. From one of your best friends/coworker.

Posted by kATHIE rICHARDSON - nORTH lIBERTY, IA - Coworker   April 14, 2016

I was sorry to hear of Ken's passing. I hadn't kept in touch with Ken after I left Regina, but I remember him fondly. His presence in the music room, or during drama productions, always made my day brighter. I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Kristin Beatty - Teacher   April 14, 2016

We have known Kenny since he was a little boy living across the street from us. He would knock on our door most mornings to see if Johnie could come out to play. She'd run to the door, she was only about three or four, to play with her best friend. Then in later years, it was always nice to be greeted by Kenny at the hardware store. Always with a smile and some conversation. We will miss him. Our hearts go out to Linda and Darrell.

Posted by Dana and Jack Mcmahon - Friend   April 14, 2016

I only knew Ken as the counter clerk at the Eastside Lenoch & Cilek. I was quite saddened to learn that he was ill and even more saddened to learn of his passing. My warmest condolences to his family, friends, and co-workers. Ken was always a friendly and helpful presence at the store, and I have missed him there already. And I will continue to miss him there forever. He won't be forgotten.

Posted by Marcia Nidey - Iowa City, IA - Acquaintance   April 14, 2016

We've known Kenny since he was a little boy, living across the street from us. He knocked on the door most mornings to see if Johnie could come out to play. She was only three or four, and would go running to the door to play with her best friend. Over the years, shopping at the hardware store, Kenny always had a smile and some conversation. He will be missed, for sure.

Posted by Dana and Jack Mcmahon - Friend   April 14, 2016

Dear Linda and Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of Ken at Pearson's. During my time there i always felt like you all were my extended family. I always enjoyed reading Ken's stories and hearing Bob talk about Ken learning to play bass. Please accept my sincere condolences during this difficult time.
Jennifer

Posted by Jennifer McFarland (Edwards) - Ainsworth, IA - Coworker   April 14, 2016

I am sad to hear of Ken's passing. I always enjoyed chatting with him at the store. I loved his quirky personality and his big heart! Many blessings to his family.

Posted by Christine Marcinkiewicz - Iowa City, IA - Acquaintance   April 13, 2016

I remember Ken when he was our paper boy. Always playing his "air guitar" while delivering the newspapers with a big smile on his face. He went to school with my daughter and with the same last name, she was often asked if they were related. He truly was a gentle giant. I will never go into the east side Ace without remembering him. My thoughts are with family and friends.

Posted by Lucinda Cook - Iowa City, IA - Acquaintance   April 13, 2016

Ken and I worked together at Osco Drugstore in the 1990s. He was a peaceful, kind, friendly person and I am deeply saddened by his passing. We had many colorful conversations at work, during which Ken freely shared his unique, insightful perspectives. Also, he volunteered to assist on college film projects and he happily shared his skills and creative ideas on the set. If I could speak to Ken today I would express to him the joy it was to know and work with him during those formative years, and, that I am so sorry that he experienced the pain and suffering of advanced stage cancer. The enormity of that experience cannot be overstated.

...This truly gentle soul deserved more time.

Posted by Joe Hall - Iowa City, IA   April 13, 2016

Linda - I selected "Family" as the relationship because you know that Jose and I always considered Ken our adopted son! Michelle and Ken were as close as any brother and sister could be. I will miss all the Facebook posts Ken would do on different holidays or special occasions and always sign as "Son" and always address it as Mom #2.

My family always felt that Ken was part of the extended family also. They all have been calling Michelle or myself and saying how important Ken's presence was during all of our family gatherings.

Ken will be missed by my family but for myself -- I will always have him in my heart as a person that was kind and gentle and had the biggest heart! He was always trying to help someone in need. It has been a blessing for Jose/Michelle/myself to have Ken in our lives so much over the years. So much joy and good times we have to remember and he will be with us in our thoughts and prayers for years to come!

One thing that I have been blessed with is that when all the "Kids" would get together to have their regular movie days -- I was always included and the first one to greet me was always Ken with a hug and kiss. All of the "movie day group" made me feel so welcome and what I enjoyed the most was not necessarily the movies we watched but listening to Ken and Andy and Joanne and Michelle/Bryan talk about all the interesting facts about the movie. We will continue with Movie Day and we will all miss Ken and his wonderful conversations about the movies. But please know he will always be there in spirit.

I will miss the most - his "Hi Mom #2". Love you!

Take care Linda and please know Ken touched so many lives in his short time on earth. I am blessed that I am one of those people and I am a better person because of that interaction with him.

Nancy (Mom#2)

Posted by Nancy Mendoza - IOWA CITY, IA - Family   April 13, 2016

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm just a customer from Ace but I wanted his family to know how I really liked him. He was always friendly in a funny scary way with my kids. It made us laugh every time we went in. Once my daughter was acting up and I told she couldn't have a sucker because of how she was behaving. He put on his scary stern face and as soon as I turned around he'd given her one. It's special people like Ken that make us all feel like we're part of loving community. I will miss him.

Posted by Laura Mcgarvey - Iowa city, IA - Acquaintance   April 13, 2016

Dear Linda and Darald

So sorry to hear of Ken's passing. Beside knowing you both through church, I also knew Ken working at Ace. He was always so kind, pleasant and helpful. I had asked not to long ago where he was and the staff told me of his illness. However I had no idea this was your Ken. May God give you support and his blessings through this sorrowful time.
Peace and Love
Colee Hospers

Posted by Colee Hospers - Iowa City, IA - Friend   April 13, 2016

I will miss visiting with Ken at Lenoch and Cilek!
Ken came to my rescue many years ago when I was trying to help my friend Lois into her wheelchair. He was a very caring, considerate young man!

Posted by Katie Lammers - Friend   April 13, 2016

I had the pleasure of knowing Ken for many years, first as K.R. the neighborhood paper delivery boy and later as Ken, a co-worker at Osco Drug. Despite his (at times) intimidating presence and his passion for obscure heavy metal music, he loved to work the front register and interact with customers of all ages. He always had good work ethic and found ways to make his job enjoyable for himself and his co-workers. I am fairly certain he invited everyone to join his rock band at some point, music experience was preferred but was not required. Despite losing touch with him for over a decade, when I saw him at Lenoch & Cilek in recent years he picked up conversation as though no time had passed. He was indeed a gentle giant with a big heart, and will be remembered fondly. Receiving word of his illness was surprising, saddening, and maddening at once. Hopefully he is now rocking out with his dream band in the sky. My sincere condolences to his family & loved ones.
Jeffrey Lynch Saint Paul, MN.

Posted by Jeffrey Lynch - St. Paul, MN - Friend   April 13, 2016

Linda and family -
Please accept our deepest sympathies! It doesn't seem that long ago that Kenny would come over after school. We loved seeing Kenny as an adult at CVS and Ace and know he will be truly missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers! Take care. Tim and Julie Taylor

Posted by Tim and Julie Taylor    April 13, 2016

Linda and family
We are very sorry about Ken. He was always so friendly and kind when we saw him at Ace. I know that Liz has many fond memories of him from Regina. You are in our prayers.

Posted by Bev & Vince Folkedahl - Iowa city, IA   April 12, 2016

Candle

I met Ken while in college when I worked at the soda fountain in Pearson's. We became friends through our mutual love of heavy metal music. He introduced me to some great bands, and later even invited me to start a band with him. He was intimidating to be sure, but one of the kindest, most pure-hearted friends anyone could ask for. I feel privileged that I got to know him and remain in touch with him even after college. He was greatly loved and will not be forgotten. My condolences go to his family and closest friends.

Andrea (Bethards) Fosler

Posted by Andrea Fosler - WA - Friend   April 12, 2016

I have many fond memories of working with Ken at Regina High School. He often visited the music department to hang out and talk. While I educated him on choral music he taught me about a lot about heavy metal. It was joy to work with him as a theater director. He enjoyed performing on stage in both the plays and musicals. I was touched to hear that his involvement in music continued.

Posted by Michael Kennedy - Chicago, IL - Teacher   April 12, 2016

Candle

I just want to pay tribute to a great friend and human being. My times with Ken usually involved music. Listening to it and playing it. He was a big man with a big heart. We all will miss him and I believe Iowa City just wont be the same without him. R.I.P Wookie.

Posted by Tom Foraker - Iowa City, IA - Friend   April 12, 2016

So sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of Ken and the Cook family from Pearson's drug. I always loved reading the stories Ken would write. May God bring you comfort in this difficult time.

Posted by Jennifer mcfarland (edwards) - Ainsworth, IA - Friend   April 12, 2016

Kenny, I will miss talking music and movies with you. I listened to a lot of music that I would not have chosen had you not introduced it to me. And those first three Star Wars movies will still always bring memories and smiles to my mind. Peace be to you.

Posted by Nancy Sereduck - Iowa city, IA - Friend   April 12, 2016

I am so very sorry to hear of Ken's passing. One of my favorite memories of his was when we worked at Osco on Muscatine Avenue together. He would ask me on a weekly basis to be in his band. Our tastes in music were drastically different, yet he kept asking. He was a kind, and gentle person, and he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Posted by Kayla Lalor - IOWA CITY, IA - Friend   April 12, 2016

Candle

Wookie will be deeply missed by all. Condolences to your family during this sad time.

The Arn Family, West Branch

Posted by Theresa Arn - Iowa City, IA - Coworker   April 12, 2016


Family Album


Life Stories

I went to high school with Ken. He was a couple of grades ahead of me, but we were in study hall together and did plays together. He made study hall go by faster and he made my theater experience all the more enjoyable. He was always kind to me and had a great sense of humor. I also remember that he loved heavy metal and zombie movies, which I was too scared to see. At that point in my life, Ken knew I liked Michael Bolton and swore that he sang in one of those scary movies. He made an audio tape for me and it was so not Michael Bolton, but I appreciated his thoughtfulness nonetheless. We had a good laugh and I promised him that I would expand my musical horizons and listen to some other kinds of music. He was a great person and holds a special memory for me.