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Obituaries » Mark D. Cook

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September 26, 1948 - January 20, 2022

Services will be held at St. Thomas More Church, 421 Monroe Street in Kalamazoo at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 5, 2022. Fr. Paul Redmond will preside at the Mass of Christian Burial. Donations can be made in Mark’s name to Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly Upper Michigan Chapter and Centrica Care Navigators.

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Mark Daniel Cook, 73, of Kalamazoo, MI, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of January 20, 2022, at Rose Arbor Hospice (Centrica Care) in Kalamazoo. Mark was born on September 26, 1948, in San Gabriel, CA. He grew up and attended Catholic schools in Lansing, MI, leaving for a two-year period in high school to attend the Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. It was there Mark discerned that he was not called to be a priest, but it deepened his sense of service to others. Hiking with his classmates in the Appalachian Mountains introduced him to a love of nature that continued throughout his life. He began his college studies at Lansing Community College where he met his future wife, Mary Therese Chapman. Informed by his Catholic education, Mark was consistently involved with issues of social justice. During his college years, he was actively involved in Students for Migrant Workers and volunteered for the Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in Chicago. At the time of the Vietnam War, Mark applied for and received a conscientious objector status, fulfilling his alternative service as a healthcare worker at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont in Burlington. Mary Therese followed Mark to Vermont where they were married in 1970 and spent 15 years enjoying hiking in the Green Mountains, cross country skiing, and beginning their family. Mark completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Vermont, subsequently working as a Registered Nurse in operating rooms in Vermont and later at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. Mark’s proudest job, however, was being a father. Almost every weekend he took his sons Peter and Jonathan hiking in the woods, exploring nature and the great outdoors. As his sons grew, Mark advocated for their development as musicians and loved attending their performances. He was well liked by most everyone, noted for his playful sense of humor and kindness. Mark was preceded in death by his son Jonathan, his parents Frederick and Margaret Cook, and his brother Matthew Cook. He is survived by his wife Mary Therese, his son Peter, and his daughter-in-law Ellen VanderMyde. He also leaves behind his siblings, Michael Cook (Pat Jackson) of Anacortes, WA, his sisters Margaret Callahan of Pleasant Ridge, MI, and Maryrose Steer of Grand Rapids, MI, as well as his best friend and “brother from another mother” Michael Henley of Minneapolis, MN. Mark is also survived by his wife’s six sisters, their husbands, and dozens of nieces and nephews who spent many wonderful years with him.