Thomas R. Cook, 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 5, 2015 at Benedictine Living Center of Spooner with his wife, Mavis, and daughter, Ann, at his side. Tom was born to Leon and Selma (Ausen) Cook on August 21, 1923 in Mondovi, Wisconsin. Tom was a quiet, kind, and hard-working man with a strong faith. He was a faithful member of the United Methodist Church where he was baptized, confirmed, and held several offices.
Tom grew up in Mondovi, graduating from high school in 1941, where he played football and boxed. He told many stories of the fun he had growing up, from playing with his cousins to planting trees with his father on the bluff. Upon graduation, he drove a truck for hauling limestone and later a can milk truck. It was during this time that he met and married his wife of 62 years, the former Mavis Anderson. In 1955, Tom and his father purchased the Gamble Store in Mondovi. After selling the store, Tom went to work as janitor and bus driver for the Mondovi Public School system. He drove the first bus purchased by the school. Tom drove bus for 42 years. For a time, he also taught bus driver safety through CVTC. Often, Tom and his friend, Wally Haas, shared driving students to school activities. He especially enjoyed the annual trip to Madison to watch the Badgers play football. He was fondly remembered by generations of former bus riders. We often marveled at how people would approach Tom and mention that he had driven them to a school event and how much they enjoyed him as their bus driver.
Tom and Mavis lived for 50 years on the farm purchased from his dad in 1962. He raised Herefords and later milk cows with his son, Randy. Tom loved his animals and treated them all like pets.
Tom loved to travel. He and Mavis were fortunate to travel to Austria, Hawaii, Norway, and Ireland, as well as many bus trips throughout the United States.
One of Tom’s favorite memories was of spending a week each summer fishing on Big McKenzie near Spooner with his brother, Jim, and their families. In later years, he would take his grandchildren, Ryan and Sarah, to his favorite fishing holes then teach them to filet their fish.
Tom and Mavis left the farm in 2012. They moved to Spooner in 2013 where Tom became a resident of Benedictine Living Center of Spooner. Even there, Tom’s smile and gentle spirit endeared him to the staff.
Tom is greatly missed by his wife, Mavis; three children, Randy (Rita), Ann (Bill) Schroeder, Jane (Worm) Gilbertson; grandchildren, Amanda (Chad) Rinde, Adam Cook, Ryan (Katie) Schroeder, Sarah (Justin) Gehrke, Alison and Maddie Gilbertson, Melissa (Dion) King, Matt (Kacia) Richins; great-grandchildren, Keating and Maeve Schroeder, Isaiah King and Violet Richins; sister-in-law, Margaret Segerstrom, and many nieces and nephews.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Jim, sister-in-law, Margaret Cook, brothers-in-law, Ralph Segerstrom and Harold Anderson, daughter-in-law, Karen Cook and nephew, Bob Cook.
Funeral services will be held on Monday April 13, 2015 at 11;00 AM at Our Savior’s United Methodist Church with Pastor Dale Engen officiating. Burial will follow at Riverside Public Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 12 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Talbot Family Funeral Home, Mondovi Chapel and again at the church on Monday from 10:00 Am until the hour of the service.
Please share your memories or express your sympathies to comfort the family at www.talbotfuneralhomes.com