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1929 Richard 2016

Richard -Dick- Cook

November 5, 1929 — November 3, 2016

Richard (Dick) Cook, 87 of Cottonwood, passed away on November 3, 2016. He was born in Albee, South Dakota in 1929; he was the second of five children to Martin Cook, a Lutheran pastor, and his wife Ruth (Nestler). He grew up during the Depression and joined the Army shortly after World War II. While in the Army he specialized in being a paratrooper, and for a short while after his stint in the military would be a part of "jump" shows, jumping out of the airplane and pretending to fall out of his harness, while the announcer on the ground would play up to the stunt. He attended several colleges, graduating from what is now Arizona State University with a B.A. in Drama. He had quite the fascination for chemistry, especially as it related to materials like plastics and fiberglass, and began working for like-minded companies in the Los Angeles area in the mid-fifties. At the same time, he married Rheta Abbe, and they had three sons. They settled in Phoenix, Arizona after the first two boys were born. In 1967 he quit his position with Goodyear Aerospace and moved his family up to Flagstaff, Arizona; it was a move that no one regretted. Their home was located in the pine forests south of Flagstaff, away from the city. Initially they had no near neighbors, no running water, no electricity and no telephone; these amenities would come within the next few years. Dick continued to commute to Phoenix during the week for work at other aerospace companies, staying with his mother and coming up on the weekends to be with his family. The commuting was likely what spawned his ambition to start his own company, which he (and his family) did in 1971, calling it Quintus Enterprises. It incorporated and later changed the name to Quintus, Inc., and specialized in products made of fiberglass. Canoes and kayaks were among the first products, later branching into more diverse areas of aerospace and medical products. Dick was quite the inventor, having several aerospace-related patents; one in particular for a crashworthy helicopter fuel tank, an invention that is credited for saving many lives during the Viet-Nam War. He is better known for his philanthropy; besides his own generosity, his company gave freely to many charities; even more than that he became a father-figure to his employees, who all loved him dearly and cherish his memory. He was also quite the musician, and led the choir at the church they attended every week. The three sons agree that singing in the choir formed the basis for their own musical foundation, and the church attendance coupled with their parent\u0027s prayers gave the basis for their faith as well. His wife Rheta passed away in 2000, and in 2001 he married Janie Gregory Finan. In 2015, after his health began to deteriorate severely and quickly, they moved to Cottonwood. Dick leaves behind wife Janie, three sons Dan, Tony and Marty and their families, sixteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. There are few on this planet who embrace the rigors of trials and opportunities with the optimism and enthusiasm that Dick Cook has done. In the variety of life\u0027s activities, in his generosity, in his faithfulness to his wife, children and God, he is a role model indeed. A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 11, 2016 at 11:00am at Verde Baptist Church in Cottonwood.
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