John Edwin Cook, 9/7/1922-4/18/2020: A Life Well Lived
John (Jack) Cook was born September 7, 1922 in Flushing, NY and grew up during The Great Depression. After graduating from Bayside High School, he worked at the Wheeler Shipyard till he was old enough to enlist in WWII in 1943. He served on Merchant Liberty Ships, Boatswain Mate 1c (T), as Navy Chief Gunner. In 1944, his ship was at the battle on Omaha Beach on D-Day.
After the war, he worked for General Motors then Ford Motor Co as Parts Manager and also began teaching tennis. He was head tennis pro at the Huntington Racquet Club, Huntington Bay Club, and Quoque Field Club in Long Island; and the Town Tennis Club and River Club in NYC. He taught many of the rich and famous as well as future tennis greats.
In 1960, he decided to make tennis his full time career and moved to Florida. After a short stint at the Silver Thatch Inn in Pompano Beach, he began a long and prestigious career as a teaching tennis pro for the City of Coral Gables at Salvadore Park from 1961 till he retired in 1989. During his tenure there, the tennis program flourished. In 1962, began the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship at Salvadore Park which included such greats as Chris Evert, John McEnroe, and Jimmy Connors, to name just a few. Jack became an important part of the community. There he met the love of his life, Jeane Young Cook. They married in 1972.
When Jack retired in 1989, he and wife Jeane continued their shared passion for tennis at the home they built in Kendall, FL. Jack continued to compete well into his 80’s. They had many happy, active retirement years. In 2013, Jack and Jeane moved to Pine Run Retirement Community in Doylestown, Pa to be close to their son Scott. Jack continued to play tennis with Scott till the age of 94+.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife, Jeane Young Cook in 2014 after 42 years of marriage. He is survived by his son Robert Cook of Murphy, NC; granddaughter Sarah Diane Barron and great granddaughter Katie of Villa Rica, Ga; daughter Barbara Cook of Orlando, FL; daughter Jeffrey Jeane Young of Ft Worth, TX; son Scott Young of Perkasie, Pa; granddaughter Danielle Hixon and great grandsons Robert and Eric, and great granddaughters Charlotte and Savanna of Butler, Pa; and grandson Michael Young of Seattle, Wa.
Jack embodied the values of those we now refer to as The Greatest Generation. He was honorable, hard working, patriotic, humble, self-disciplined, frugal, loyal, resourceful. He overcame several hardships in life, including polio as a young man yet became one of the top ranked teaching pros. He pursued his dream of a career in tennis, something he loved. He worked hard at it and made a good life for himself and his family. Jack was also polite, gracious, and very charismatic. Everyone loved him. He will be greatly missed.
Jack will be buried with Military Funeral Honors in Penn Hills, Pa where his wife Jeane is buried.