Elmer Cook, passed away at Bonaventure of Lacey on July 15, 2015, at the age of 84, with loved ones at his side.
Elmer was born in St. Urban on August 30, 1930, the youngest of three sons, to Peter and Della Cook. After his father passed away in 1943, Elmer worked the farm with his mother when his older brothers went to serve in WWII. Elmer played football in high school and told stories about repairing many of the faculty's automobiles while in school. He graduated in 1948 from Winlock High School and during his senior year, met DeLaura Broughton. They were married on December 24, 1949. Elmer started driving logging truck after graduation and worked for Kern Spears and Gus Sturza before venturing out on his own in 1952. Elmer and DeLaura worked together to grow a business with logging trucks, dump trucks, and lowbed trucks; although, Elmer still continued to work in the woods running log shovels for many local loggers. He was active in PTA, the Winlock Masonic Lodge where he served as master seven times and earned the Hiram Award for Outstanding Service in 1993 and the Grand Master's Achievement Award in 2000. Elmer was the driving force behind the scholarship program that provided scholarships for many Winlock and Toledo high school students. He loved participating in the coffee stops that the lodge used for fund raisers--Elmer never knew a stranger and never ran out of a good story to tell. His love for the Masonic organization and youth was evident as he served as Rainbow Dad for Winlock and Centralia Assemblies of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls numerous times and served as an adult grand officer for Potts-of-Gold.
He was active in church activities and served as treasurer for the Winlock Methodist Church for many years. Elmer and DeLaura also loved square dancing and danced with the Adna Do-Si-Do and Cougar Squares clubs and was also a lifetime member of the St. Urban grange in Winlock.
Elmer loved to wear derby hats and became known as "the man with the derby hat" to many people. He took great pleasure in spending time in his truck shop and being around his grandchildren and later, his great-grandchildren--teaching them things he would never allow his own children to do--and each holding a special place in his heart. Elmer and DeLaura enjoyed traveling which included visiting all 50 states and several trips to Europe.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, DeLaura, his parents, an infant son David, and brothers Jim Cook and Fred Cook. He is survived by his children Diane (Chuck) Christin, Napavine; Debbie (Jim) Aust, Chehalis; Donna (Steve) McNew, Toledo; and Ernie (Chrystol) Cook, Toledo, 13 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, cousins, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Masonic graveside will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Winlock Cemetery. A memorial service and reception will follow at the Winlock Senior Center at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the University of Washing Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Your memorial can be mailed to UWADRC, University of Washington Medical Advancement Office, c/o James Policar, Box 358045, Seattle, WA 98195 or by calling (206) 221-7526.
Services are under the care of Cattermole Funeral Home in Winlock. Visitations will be Thursday and Friday.