George W. F. Cook
George Wallace Foster Cook, 90, of Rutland, died Sept. 26, 2009, at Rutland Regional Medical Center.
George was born at home in Cuttingsville, Vt., on May 20, 1919, the son of Edward Jay Cook and Helen Foster Cook of Mount Holly, Vt. He was named after his young uncle who had been killed in the Argonne Forest in France seven months earlier.
He spent the summers working on his grandfather's farm in Mount Holly. He graduated from the one-room school in Mount Holly in 1932, from Rutland High School in 1936 and from Middlebury College in 1940.
He was an aeronautical engineer at Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Conn., when he joined the Air Corps in 1943 where he was a navigator. After the war, he enrolled at Columbia University Law School and graduated in 1948. In 1947, he married Laicita Gregg at Riverside Church in New York City.
He was an attorney with the General Counsel's Office of the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., from 1948-1955. He earned a master's degree from Georgetown Law School in 1952. In late 1955, he moved his family to Shrewsbury, Vt., and joined Clayton Kinney's law practice in the Mead Building in Rutland.
In 1959, he was elected to the Vermont State Senate. He was chairman of the Judicial Committee from 1959-1969 and president pro tem from 1965-1969. Among his many accomplishments while serving in the Senate were leading the fight to create legislation to remove billboards from Vermont's countryside and clean up its rivers and lakes. He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1964 and 1968. He was appointed United States Attorney by President Richard Nixon and served until 1978. He was a United States Magistrate from 1978-1981. In 1981, he was reappointed United States Attorney by President Ronald Reagan and retired in 1986.
He was a member of Grace Congregational United Church of Christ since 1965 (44 years). He was a member of American Legion Post #31. He spent many days working on the land, mending fence and planting trees in the spring, cutting firewood and pulp. For three summers, he organized a family logging operation cutting logs for Real Log Homes. He enjoyed cross-country camping trips with the family. His children, and working to make sure they had a good education, were his most important interests.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Laicita; sons, David W. Cook, M.D., and his wife Drema of Huntington, W.Va., Jonathan F. Cook, M.D., and his wife Lisa of Anaheim Hills, Calif., Timothy G. Cook, M.D., of Rutland, Vt.; daughters, Constance C. Whitmer and husband Grant of Castleton, Vt., and Heather Cook Haymov, M.D., and husband Gaddy of Wesley Hills, N.Y.; brothers, Edward J. Cook of Rutland and Frederick N. Cook of Montpelier; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, Edith Penney.
Calling hours will be Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, from 4-7 p.m. at the Tossing Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, at 2 p.m. in the Grace Congregational United Church of Christ. The Rev. John C. Weatherhogg, senior minister, will officiate.
Burial will be in the Laurel Glen Cemetery in Cuttingsville, Vt.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one's choice.
View the guest book at www.rutlandherald.com/ obits.