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JAN. 23, 1922 -- NOV. 20, 2004

Donald D. Cook, a firefighter, outdoorsman, writer and Navy veteran, died Saturday in Medina Memorial Hospital after a long illness. He was 82.

Mr. Cook was born in Medina and graduated from Medina High School in 1941.

During World War II, he served in the Navy from September 1942 to December 1945 as a gunner, once sailing completely around the world. He saw action in both the European and Pacific theaters.

He was a fireman and dispatcher for the Medina Fire Department from 1953 to 1976.

Mr. Cook was an active member of the Quarterback Club that supported the Medina Athletic Club's semipro football teams after World War II. Working with Mike Wertman, former sports editor of the Medina Journal-Register, he co-authored two books on local gridiron history: "Medina High School Football 1929-1980" and "MAC's Football 1946-1961."

In 1975-76, he helped set up a committee to work with the village government in updating Veterans Memorial Park, where the Medina High School teams played. The effort won him recognition with two other men, Jack Botsford and Fred Benson Jr., as Medina's Citizens of the Year.

In 1966, he took a part-time job at the Journal-Register as a writer and photographer. He wrote the "Sportsman's Column" for almost 30 years and was a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America for 28 years. Mr. Cook's photos were published in several outdoor magazines, and he also produced pen-and-ink drawings.

A longtime member of the Medina Conservation Club, he won an award from its skeet division in 1967. The club made Mr. Cook a lifetime member in 1978. He was president of the Orleans County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs in 1977-78, and won awards from that group in 1970 and 1983.

Mr. Cook was the county's delegate to the New York State Conservation Council and the Region 8 Board of Fish and Wildlife Management. He programmed the dedication of the Sportsmen's Conservation Education log cabin on the Orleans County Junior Fairgrounds in August 1976. The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge honored him in 1987 and 1995 for his support of wildlife conservation programs.

He was a member of the state chapter of Ducks Unlimited; the New York State Foxhunters Association; and the National Rifle Association.

He was a life member of Lincoln Post 1483, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Butts-Clark Post 204, American Legion.

In 1989, the Orleans County Office of the Aging cited him during Older Workers Week.

Besides football and the outdoors, Mr. Cook enjoyed barbecuing chicken.

His wife of 12 years, the former Shirley M. Perry, died in 1967.

Survivors include two daughters, Derinda D. Kwiatkowski of Waterport and Dabrina D. Morse of Worcester, Vt.; two sons, David D. of Lyndonville and Danyl D. of Denver; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Private graveside services will be held Wednesday in Boxwood Cemetery.


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