William Ralph Cook, age 84, of Austin, MN died Saturday morning, August 16, 2014 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Home in Austin. He was born June 1, 1930 in London Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota, the son of Ralph William and Ollie Matilda (Cole) Cook. He attended country school near his home, before attending high school in Lyle. He graduated from high school in New Jersey after moving there to live with his uncle. After graduation, William joined the National Guard before entering the United States Army where he served during the Korean Conflict attaining the rank of Sergeant while serving with I Company, 85th Infantry Regiment, 10th Infantry Division. On April 11, 1953, he was united in marriage to Evelyn Nelson at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin. After his discharge, William was trained as a welder for the Caterpillar Corporation in Joliet, Illinois, working as a welder for five years before moving into management for eighteen years before his retirement. When not working as a welder, William designed and constructed the family home in Joliet. Following his retirement; William was an owner/operator hauling flatbed loads throughout the United States and Canada until 1984. After Evelyn’s death in 1984, William worked for the Troy School District in Joliet, Illinois until 1995. On May 24, 2000, William married Rosemary (Huinker) Meyer at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin where the couple made their home. He enjoyed reading, civil war history, traveling and riding motorcycles. He was a member of American Legion Post 91 and VFW Post 1216 in Austin.
Survivors include his wife, Rosemary Cook of Austin; daughter Elizabeth (John) Kaczmarczyk of St. Peters, Missouri; a grandson, John Michael Kaczmarczyk of St. Peters, Missouri; eight brothers and sisters, Alfred (Judy) Cook of Austin, Alan (Barbara) Cook of Glenville, Betty Cook of Battle Lake, Joan (Ward) Huff of Caledonia, Lois (David) Penning of Groveland, California, Alvina Cook of Kensington, Maryland, Ardith (Delmar) Pepper of Austin and Ruth (Roger) Lampe of Waverly, Iowa; honorary sister, Jean Cool of Battle Lake and many nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Evelyn and one brother, Melvin.
At William’s request, no public services will be held. A private family memorial service and interment will take place at a later date. Interment will be in the London Cemetery with military honors by the members of American Legion Post 91 and VFW Post 1216 of Austin. The Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements.