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Frank Cook

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Frank Cook, 93, of Adams, NY passed away peacefully Friday, March 28, 2014 in his home, surrounded by his loving family and under the care of Hospice of Jefferson County.

Mr. Cook was born Aug. 3, 1920 in Watertown, NY to Andrew and Susan (Molnar) Cook. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1939. He attended the U.S. Coast Guard Preparatory School and the Merchant Marine Academy before returning to Watertown in 1942.

Upon his return, he worked at Bagley Sewall while also attending Clarkson College engineering extension courses at the former Remington Institute. Working as an apprentice machinist, he became a journeyman machinist in only 3 years, instead of the required 4 years, and was promoted to Plant Engineer.

After leaving Bagley Sewall in 1949, he worked as a free-lance engineer for Ryan Plumbing & Heating and then was employed by Ryan Plumbing & Heating as a project engineer. In 1952, he formed Builders Technical Service with his brother, John, which became Cook Engineering in 1954.

Frank was a self-taught architectural engineer. Over the course of 60 plus years, he worked on the design and planning of hundreds of local buildings and projects, including the former Cook Engineering office building in Watertown (now Parkside Bible Church), the Community War Memorial in Clayton, Shorty’s Diner in Watertown, as well as several homes and cottages. He was also involved in the Antique Boat Museum project in Clayton. Of all the buildings he worked on, his most treasured was Balsam Brook, the camp he designed and built for his family near Colton, NY.

An involved member of his community and his profession, Frank was a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and president of the Watertown Lions Club (1960). Additionally, he was a founding member of Little Kildare, Inc. in 1962, serving as President for 13 years.

Frank became a father at the age of fifty and embarked on what he called his “second life-time.” He was a proud husband and Papa who couldn’t wait to share his love of life and the fruits of his labor with his wife, children and grandchildren. Frank also became a world traveler in his later years; when he was in his eighties, he made two trips to Hungary and Romania to visit the village his parents emigrated from. He also enjoyed traveling to visit friends and family throughout the United States, most recently traveling to a family wedding in Philadelphia, PA last June and making a trip to Rhode Island to visit his daughter last November.

This remarkable man had a zest for life that was contagious. Whether he was fishing, telling stories around the table with his life-long friends and his family, tending to his grapes in his backyard or drawing with his grandchildren, he was always fully engaged, always ready for an adventure, and always ready to welcome a new friend into the fold with his trademark handshake which even in his last days was hearty enough to bring a strong man to his knees.

Frank is survived by his adored wife of 44 years, Barbara (Geglia) Cook, of Adams, NY; his sister, Susan Cook, of Watertown, NY; his son and his wife, Ike and Celia Cook, of Adams; his daughter-in-law, Moira Collins-Cook, of Providence, RI; his step-daughter, Karen Heaslip, of Fayetteville, NY; his step-daughter Anne and her husband Dave Ohman of Franklin, NY; his grandchildren Jacob and Samuel Ohman, Lucas Heaslip, Marlo and Jude Cook, as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by brothers Andrew, Joseph, John and sisters Mary, Helen and Emma. He is also predeceased by his daughter Jennifer Cook of Providence, RI who died on March 14, 2014.

Calling hours will be on Friday, April 4 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Piddock Funeral Home in Adams. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 5 at 11:00 a.m. at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church on GothamStreet in Watertown. A reception at the church will immediately follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County., 1398 Gotham Street, Watertown, NY 13601.

Condolaneces may be at

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