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PAUL “THE CAPTAIN” COOK  The man. The myth. The legend. Men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him. Paul “The Captain” Cook died on February 10, 2016. Paul loved Coca Cola, beautiful women, chicken and dumplings, Marlboro Reds (soft pack only), animals and long walks on the beach. Not necessarily in that order. He hated vegetables, winter and liberals. Not necessarily in that order. He was a longstanding business owner and was an illustrious member of the Saugatuck community for more than three decades. He was a founding member of the Saugatuck-Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau, serving on the board of directors and as chairman for many years. 

The Captain was amazing at grilling steaks and burgers, reading books like it was his job and an expert driver of anything with an engine. He had a lifelong passion for riding and rebuilding motorcycles, which is where he found true contentment. When it came to the motel business, he was one of the best and made his guests feel that his home was their home. The Captain loved to tell stories. And you could be sure that he would be the hero of each and every one. In reality, he truly was a hero to his family and those closest to him. He always had an open door and compassionate ear and would do his best to help us through life’s struggles. The Captain adored the ladies. And they adored him. He got married when he was 17, but that didn’t last.  The Captain was no quitter, however, and gave it a shot 2 more times. It didn’t work out with any of the wives but that in no way diminished his great appreciation for the opposite sex.  The Captain had many voyages and adventures. He spent as much time as possible on the water and was a great explorer of the eastern seaboard.  In between his numerous adventures he became a profoundly important part of our lives. That void can’t ever be filled nor would we want it to be. His love, humor, kindness and nonsense made our lives richer and better in countless ways.  

The Captain was killed while battling a great white shark to save the life of an adorable and very grateful baby seal. Or perhaps not. We all know how he liked to tell stories. A celebration of The Captain’s epic life will be held from11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 19th at the Saugatuck-Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau,  95 Blue Star Highway, Douglas, MI 49406.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wishbone in Douglas.  To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign The Captain’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:  Arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids.  


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8 Condolences

  1. leta billma & Vicki Lindsley on March 2, 2016 at 10:04 am

    To the most handsome man i ever met,i was never one of the lucky ones.

  2. Pat Fenda on March 2, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Met Paul with Tommy Pierce in Tallahassee, FL back in the early 70s. Paul was a hoot! We all loved him. He visited me in Florida several times and regaled his stories from Bike Week! He loved Bike Week. It was always a challenge to find a place to park the trailer. He will be missed.

  3. Tom Flynn on April 15, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I met Paul back in the early 80s. If you remember that time we were in a fairly serious recession and jobs were tough to find. Having dropped out of college I came back to Allegan and needed a job. At the time Paul had a small contracting business and despite knowing very little about building practices he hired me! I learned a great deal about carpentry and a great deal about life too. It was on payday Fridays that I learned how to play Liars Poker….ok, my fault, but I would lose a fraction of my earnings back to my elders (Paul) playing poker! But, in the end it has paid off, as I have learned how to play poker from Paul. I think I may be close to even money.

    Paul was roughly 14 years older than I was so I wouldnt say he was like a Father figure to me but most definitely, for a few years, he was like big brother to me. I learned a great deal from him. I wished I had the chance to tell you goodbye and to say thank you.

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