James Richard Cook, 85, of New York Mills, passed away peacefully on November 14, 2018. James was born on June 10, 1933 in Utica to the late William and Mabel (Martin) Cook. He attended Utica Free Academy. In 1950, he joined the U.S. Army35th Brigade where he served in the Korean War. After the War, James worked as a lineman for Niagara Mohawk for over 40 years.James was a devoted husband to his "beautiful, blue-eyed bride" of almost 40 years, Joan Alice (Kozlowski) Cook.
James was dedicated to service his entire life. He was a lobbyist for Local 97 out of Syracuse, COPE chairperson for Local 310 in Utica, President Emeritus of Local 97 of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Labor Council, and a volunteer for the United Way. James was a devout Catholic and a lifelong parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. James was known as a kind-hearted friend with a sparkle in his eye and an Irish sense of humor that delighted others. He treasured his Irish heritage and loved recounting stories of his military, lineman, and union officer days. He was a hard worker and meticulous craftsman; his work can still be seen throughout the Utica area.
James was a loving and proud father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle. He was the oldest sibling of Theresa Bruni, William Cook, Katherine Cook, Florence Armstrong, and Debbie Cook. He was predeceased by his younger sister, Carol Ann in 1968. James is survived by his wife, Joan; four children, Elizabeth Cook of New York Mills, James (Gina) Cook of Glenville, Gregory (Ping) Wroblewski of Houston, Texas, and Mary (Steven) Osbourne of Dublin, Ohio; five grandchildren, Emily, Carly, LiMei, Madeleine and Shannon; and two great-grandchildren, Taylor and Dylan. In addition to his parents and sister, James was predeceased by his beloved eldest granddaughter, Tiffany and his first wife, Diane Riley.
James's family wishes to offer their heartfelt appreciation to Hospice and Palliative Care and the Abraham House for the comfort, compassion, and care they provided James and his family during his final days. His Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Interment with Military Honors will take place in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Monday, November 19, 2018 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Kowalczyk Funeral Home, 284 Main Street, New York Mills, New York, 13417. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jim's memory may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care, 4277 Middle Settlement Rd., New Hartford, NY 13417 or the Abraham House, 1203 Kemble St. Utica, NY 13501.