Clarence Cook was called up to heaven on Friday, August 9, 2019 and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was a strong man of faith who worked selflessly for his church and is cherished by his family. Clarence lived his life with honesty, dependability, and respectability. The service will be Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 11 am, at Faith Viera Lutheran Church, 5550 Faith Drive, Rockledge Florida 32955.
Clarence was born in Rome New York to Mary and Vernon Cook in 1934. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Rome. His family strongly believed in the power of education, which prompted him to become the first in his family to graduate from college. He met his first wife, Donna, at Purdue University, where he was studying to be a Civil Engineer. He graduated in 1955 and then served in the US Air Force as a pilot. He had a strong interest in aviation and started building model airplanes when he was very young.
He worked for the New York State Department of Transportation for 31 years as the Director of Aviation Division. He and Donna became the parents of three girls, Karen, Brenda, and Kileen. In 1971, he went back to school to earn an MS in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While he worked for the NYSDOT, he was honored to serve as chair of the Air Transportation Services for the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. He and his wife were in attendance at the Miracle on Ice, the Olympic hockey game when the US team beat Russia. He also served as the president and treasurer of the National Association of State Aviation Officials. One project that he was most proud of was operating Stewart and Republic airports.
During his time in New York, he was a very active member at Christ Lutheran Church where he served in many leadership roles. He was the founder and president of the Good Samaritan Lutheran Nursing Home for 10 years.
After Donna’s death, he met and married a wonderful woman named Mary at Zion Lutheran Church in Schenectady, NY. Clarence and Mary then moved to Miami, where he worked for HNTB as the engineer in charge of the Miami Airport Design and Construction Office. He continued his service to his local church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, where he became the treasurer and started his journey into working with church finances. He retired from HNTB in 1997 and relocated to Rockledge, FL.
Once in Rockledge, he and Mary joined Faith Viera Lutheran Church where he served in many leadership roles. He served on the church building committee, as president of the council, chair of the building committee for the Lutheran Home for the Aged, and chair of the finance committee. He was later named the financial secretary for the SELC District of Lutheran Missouri Synod.
Clarence took great joy in each new addition to the family. He was very proud of his 13 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Thanks to modern technology, he was able to witness the baptism of his most recent great grandchild the week before his passing.
Clarence and Mary fully enjoyed 32 years of marriage and made time for friends and family while they both served the Lord. They especially enjoyed traveling, where they visited Hawaii, China, The Holy Land, Finland, England, Germany, and many more!
Clarence is survived by his wife, Mary Cook, sister, Sandy Sidelko, children Rev. Karen Cook, Brenda Watkins, Kileen Stark (husband Jim), Lise Bull (husband Rev. Steve), Pearce Raeder (wife Carrie), Jan Raeder (husband Bill Reed), grandchildren Tim Watkins (wife Jennifer), Ben Watkins (wife Katie), Leah Gordon (husband R.J.), Matt Stark, Mary Bull, Jonathan Bull (wife Christine), Patrick Raeder, Katherine Raeder, Chelsea Reed, great grandchildren, Kaylynn Watkins, Bobby Watkins, Maya Bull, Emily Watkins, Jay Bull, Hunter Gordon and many nieces and nephews.
“Looking back over my life, I have concluded that I have lived to do the Lord’s work on this Earth. It was not easy, but He gave me the talent education, and desire to succeed in meeting challenges. The experience and education I received in my aviation development career was the foundation for doing the Lord’s work.”
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Faith Viera Lutheran Church.
Faith Viera Lutheran Church
5550 Faith Dr, Viera FL 32955