Robert Sylvester Cook passed away May 7, 2023 at Creekside Care Center in Jerome, Idaho at the age of 90. He was a loving son, nephew, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Robert “Bob” was born in Omaha, Nebraska on November 18, 1932 to Helen Mary (Bertschy) Cook and Chauncey Joseph Cook. Bob was named after his mother's twin brother, Robert Sylvester Bertschy. When Bob was one year old, he moved with his family to southern California. Bob had an older brother named James and a younger brother named Joseph. The three boys grew up together in Santa Monica, California. Bob had many fond memories of spending days at the beach and roaming around town with their Saint Bernard.
Bob's first jobs were as a newspaper boy and having a lawn-mowing business with his brother, Jim. After graduating from Santa Monica High School in 1950, Bob spent the summer in Panama before enrolling at Santa Monica City College.
Bob was patriotic and a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy. From 1952 – 1954 he served as a Communications Technician in Yokahama, Japan. Bob had top security clearance because he maintained and repaired tape recorders used for U.S. intelligence operations. He was honorably discharged in October 1954.
Following his military service, Bob returned to California, married his high school girlfriend, Elizabeth Verboon "Beppie" in 1955, and they started a family in 1956. They settled in Pacific Palisades, a suburb adjacent to Santa Monica. Bob worked hard to provide for his six children and instilled in them a strong work ethic and a love of the beach. Bob was kindhearted and reached out to help others, especially those with family responsibilities. While a bit shy, he loved people and encouraged and celebrated others' accomplishments. He fed his curious mind through listening to radio, conversations and reading. He was still perusing the Wall Street Journal at 90.
Bob emphasized the value of education and encouraged his children to attend college and pursue their dreams. He worked overtime on weekends to help pay expenses and always provided practical support from appliance repairs to innumerable furniture moves. For many years he had a framing business with his brother, Joe, in Los Angeles. He was very proud that all six of his children graduated from university.
After his children were grown, Bob and Beppie divorced and he moved to Sherman Oaks, California. Bob worked as an electrician, spending 32 years at the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles and 15 years at Los Angeles City Hall. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for 55 years. Bob was a talented trouble-shooter of all electrical and mechanical problems and kept his garage full of well-loved tools and potential projects. He taught his children to respect the trade and to always buy the best tools they could afford.
Bob met his wife, Teresa (Chacon), at a church gathering in Sherman Oaks in May 1993 and they married in July 1999. Bob retired in 2002 at age 70 and enjoyed traveling with Teresa to visit their Cook and Chacon families across California, Oregon, Idaho and Hawaii to celebrate many birthdays, holidays and graduations. Bob and Teresa moved to Jerome, Idaho in 2005 where they joined St. Jerome’s Catholic Parish and were active volunteers for many years, including at the soup kitchen.
Bob is survived by his wife; Teresa; his ex-wife, Beppie; children: Thomas, Theresa (James), Anne (Christopher), Mary (David), Robert (Earlette), and Elizabeth; stepson, Michael Chacon (Virginia); 8 grandchildren, 11 step-grandchildren, 15 step-great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Chauncey Joseph; his mother, Helen Mary; brothers, James Kiernan and Joseph Stewart; and his step-children, Natalie Ellen and Stephen Alan.
A Vigil and Rosary will be held at 5:00 pm, Sunday, Father's Day, June 18, 2023, at St. Jerome's Catholic Church, 216 2nd Ave E, Jerome. Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am, Monday, June 19, 2023 at St. Jerome's Catholic Church, followed by a luncheon reception in the church hall.
The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Creekside Care Center in Jerome who provided loving care for Bob in his final years.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Bob’s memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.