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Willis Richard Cook (Cookie), aged 75, passed away in Big Rapids, Michigan, under the loving care of his family and Hospice of Michigan, on Saturday. June 18, 2022. He was born July, 6, 1946, in Big Rapids, the son of Russell and Francis (Alger) Cook.

The most important thing to our dad was family; even at the end, he just wanted all of his children and grandchildren around him.  He valued longtime friends.  He loved holiday gatherings, family reunions, and going out to eat.  Dad had a great gift of carpentry and made sure to teach us all how to paint, drywall, and all those other “fun” things.   We see his work all around our homes.

Dad always had such a goofy sense of humor.  He was always making “dad” jokes.  He loved watching his westerns during cold days and enjoyed outdoor activities when it was warm out-like sitting around the bonfire, camping, and going to the beach.  As kids, we went to Grand Haven quite often.  As we got older, we continued having fun on the water -kayaking, canoeing, and riding on the pontoon boat.  He was the oldest camper at our outdoor parties!

He was always there for his children and grandchildren.  He would make sure he called all of us for every birthday and holiday and if there was going to be bad weather.  He loved to talk about the weather and about feeding his squirrels and birds!  Dad was always inquiring about our flowers and gardens.

His pancreatic cancer was a shock to all of us and it took him very quickly.  He will be greatly missed but always in our hearts.

Willis was preceded in death by his father, Russell (Myra) Cook; mother, Frances Cook Sova, nee Alger; brother, Eugene Sova; and sister, Diana (Gordon) Reibow.

Surviving are his four daughters, Cinnamin (Andy) Piggott, Kimberly (Dave) Sumpter, Shanna Swem, and Lindsey (John) Dunbar; seven grandchildren, Dominic, Brittnee, MacKenzie, Brooklynn, Emma, Michael, and Brayden; four siblings, his older brother, Duane Cook, Carol Sova-Morris, Roger Sova, and Alec Sova.

The Celebration of Life for Willis R Cook will be at Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Avenue NE Grand Rapids, MI 49505, on Saturday, July 16, 2022, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Willis’ online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, (616) 452-3006.



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