Dick Cook

From IAGSDCWiki
With his pet squirrel "Mr Chips"

Richard H. Cook
27 Jun ???? - 21 Aug 2021
TNT's
Received 10 Year Medallion at Wheel & Deal in 1997

  • Provided the sound for many IAGSDC Conventions as well as several other major events.
  • Built Cook's Barn, a square dance hall outside Sacramento, CA
  • Provided recordings of many dances and conventions, mainly at the Challenge levels

Remembrances

RIP Richard Cook.
I am sad to announce the passing of Dick Cook my husband of 46 years. He passed away Saturday afternoon very peacefully. He has been in a care home since October of 2019. We met in 1972 at a beginners square dance class. He was the angel and I was the beginner. He will be sadly missed and I will start a new chapter in my life.
Several have asked if we are going to do a Memorial Service for Dick but we have decided to NOT do one because of the Covid issues. I want everyone to be safe and not take any chances.
Dick wanted to have his ashes put in the flume of a train engine at the Cumbres and Toltek Scenic Railway in Antonito Colorado and be blown out all over Colorado. Cumbres and Toltek is a tourist train that Dick helped lay the tracks in the 1960's and then drove the engine that went on the excursions. Well I do not think this wish can be granted so the family decided that he likes the Skunk train also and we are going to take a family trip up to Fort Bragg, ride the Skunk train, and drop his ashes along the track tracks. I think he will be happy there.
I also want to thank all of you for your wonderful touching comments you have made about Dick on Facebook. I can tell he was loved by all. I miss him but life goes on and I am moving forward to another chapter in my life.
- - - - -
This (right) is my favorite picture of Dick with his pet squirrel "Mr Chips".
Several have asked if we are going to do a Memorial Service for Dick but we have decided to NOT do one because of the Covid issues. I want everyone to be safe and not take any chances.
Dick wanted to have his ashes put in the flume of a train engine at the Cumbres and Toltek Scenic Railway in Antonito Colorado and be blown out all over Colorado. Cumbres and Toltek is a tourist train that Dick helped lay the tracks in the 1960's and then drove the engine that went on the excursions. Well I do not think this wish can be granted so the family decided that he likes the Skunk train also and we are going to take a family trip up to Fort Bragg, ride the Skunk train, and drop his ashes along the track tracks. I think he will be happy there.
I also want to thank all of you for your wonderful touching comments you have made about Dick on Facebook. I can tell he was loved by all. I miss him but life goes on and I am moving forward to another chapter in my life.
Arlene Cook

Dick passed peacefully on 8/21/2021. He and his wife Arlene had been married for 46 years having met in a square dance class in 1972. Both were avid supporters of square dancing. They built “Cook’s Barn” on their Orangevale property (with the help of local square dancers) and over the years hosted many dances primarily to encourage the higher levels of square dancing from Advanced to all levels of Challenge dancing up through C4. Up until the Covid pandemic, many callers from all over the U.S. and the world called from the Cook’s Barn stage. Dick always had a ready smile for everyone who danced at the barn. A lover of all things related to railroads and trains; outside the front of the Barn he installed a large railroad signal to welcome all dancers. No services are scheduled due to Covid issues. Please keep Arlene and their son Adam and family in your thoughts and prayers. He will be missed. No obituary available, but more information can be found on Arlene Cook’s Facebook page.
ASDSC (Associated Square Dancers of Superior California)

For those of you who haven't heard, Dick Cook passed away yesterday. Dick had a major influence on challenge square dancing. For many years he ran "Dick's Tape Service", distributing recordings (reel-to-reel back then!) of square dances to dancers across the globe. I used many of those recordings myself as I was learning to dance and call, as well as just to enjoy dancing at local tape groups. He supplied audio equipment to countless square dance conventions and used his extensive electrical engineering and audio knowledge to make sure the sound was always the best it could be. And he built Cook's Barn, a wonderful dance hall in Sacramento, much of it with his bare hands. I will never forget all of the times I called up there, and stayed at Dick and Arlene Cook's house with my closest dance friends. Their gracious hospitality was much appreciated, and I have many great memories from our times together. I know Dick had a much more complicated and full life than I know about, but anyone who spoke to him was introduced to his love of all things related to trains. I never understood a lot of what he said, but I always appreciated his passion. RIP.
Rob French

so sorry, Arlene, to hear this. Dick will hold a very special place in all of our hearts. He is fondly remembered with his pet squirrels on your property, the preparation for sound for our dances, for his never-ending train stories, for his wit and humor and kindness. We all loved Dick as our own dad, granddad, brother. May he always rest in peace and be in your heart forever.... hugs and yellowrocks, Arlene Cook
Ett McAtee

So sorry Arlene. Dick was a very special person. We always loved staying with you and listening to his stories. His many years of providing excellent sound for square dance conventions will be remembered by hundreds of people. Hold on to all of your wonderful memories as you move on to the next chapter enjoying your grandsons. Big hugs to you and to Adam.
Pam Clasper

I’m sorry for your loss. I know this has been tough on you, but you and Dick have provided so much joy and happiness and smiles to the dancers with your friendliness, stories, and opening your home. Dick will be and has been missed but I’m glad that he is at rest now and for the strong and wonderful woman you are. My sympathies to you and the family. Sending hugs!
MaryAnn Callahan

Oh my dear friend Arlene, my heart is with you and know how hard this has been for you to watch your loving husband in the last few years go through different changes brought about by Alzhiemers !! In many ways I have experienced what you have. You are such a wonderful person and have been there totally for your wonderful husband. My prayers and my heart are with you Arlene, and I an here for you anytime you need me or help of any kind. My arms are around you dear friend, God bless, and big hugs, Nikki 🙏❤🙏❤
Nikki Witt

Dearest Arlene, I am so sad to hear this news. I am glad to have been privileged to dance at Cook’s Barn many times over the years, and to enjoy the friendship and hospitality of you and Dick. He was such a sweet man, and so smart and knowledgeable. He will be missed. Yellow Rocks! J (and Debbie)
Jane Clewe

Our most sincere condolences Arlene. We always enjoyed dancing with you and Dick and will hold our fond memories. Our thoughts are with you. Hugs.
Bruce Harrigan

Many condolences to you and your family. I will always remember Dick, even his laser beams on the floor pointing where the dancers should go - he was just so cute… Hugs.
Debby Stopp

I am so sorry for your loss. Dick was a great man. May your memories be a blessing💕.
Susan Siegfried

I’m so sorry for your loss. Dick’s influence on square dancing was immense and he will be sorely missed.
Rob French

So very sorry, Arlene. I have many fond memories of Dick.
Mary Hutchinson

I also loved him and miss him.
Sue Lietz-Davis

We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Dicks life. He had such a kind and wonderful soul. What wonderful memories you have of your travels and square dancing.
Blanche Rever

Arlene, Ray and I are so sorry to hear of Dick's passing and your loss. We greatly appreciate your hospitality and encouragement over the years. Hugs from afar as you enter this new chapter.
Jan Hoover

Yellowrocks. I am so sorry for you loss. Always enjoyed spending time and dancing at "The Barn." Thanks for proving a place for C2 and C3 back in the day.
James Ozanich

I’m so sorry for your loss, Arlene. I have many fond memories of dancing with you guys at the barn and all over.
Karen Bell

Offering condolences always seems so inadequate at these times, but Pam said it very well for the two of us. We hope it helps to know your friends are now thinking of all their fond memories that revolve around you and Dick. May you forge many more as you start the next chapter.
Barry Clasper

Sending heartfelt condolences to you, Adam, and all the family. You and Dick were such great support for so many of us as we came up through the square dance ranks. Focus on his life and not his passing. Best wishes for you in this new phase of life.
JW Paulson

Dear Arlene, I am so very sorry to hear about Dick’s passing. My thoughts & prayers are with you. Call me any time if you want to talk. I miss seeing you and I will forever remember my talks with Dick & dancing with him.
Carol Cohane

Such sad news but Dick is now at rest. My Dad so enjoyed talking about trains with Dick. Enjoy the next phase of life Arlene and make new memories with your family. Much love 💕
Anne Uebelacker

Arlene I am so very sorry to hear this. You guys have given so very much fun and joy to the square dance community. Always love hearing his train stories too. RIP Dick.Big HugZz always to you and peace and happiness to your next chapter in life Arlene. 💕
Corky Bolin

I'm so sorry. I've been missing you both for a while now. I have many happy memory of times in the past. Sending hugs. Please keep in touch.
Sheryl Price

So sorry for your loss Arlene. Dick was a wonderful friend, and a great friend to square dancing. He will be missed.
Scott Pearce

I am so sorry, Arlene. You and Dick have done so much for square dancing. I remember him fondly. Hugs to you.
Corey Jaseph

Arlene, Mark and I are so sorry for your loss.
Mary Brautigam

I'm sorry for your loss. You and Dick have provided so much to so many for such a long, long time. His memory will live on with us.
Del Powell

So sorry to hear - we always loved dancing and a pleasure to have known you guys. God bless you and family during this time. ❤
Elaina Miles

I have many fond memories of dancing at the barn and I appreciate his effort and yours in making all those dances happen. Dick was a true gentleman and also quite a character. We shared a common interest in radios, and he hooked me up with others who had radios for sale and also test equipment to get them working. I always appreciated that he was the kind of guy to just "make it happen."

Mark Brautigam

Sadly, Dick left us a while ago, and now his exit is complete. I know from experience how hard that is, and I hope you feel a lightening of the burden that helps with the sadness of his death. May your next chapter be as fulfilling as the last, although nothing will take the place of Cook's barn. Thanks again for the memories of all the good times there.

Fred Loehr

Love you mom. Dad will be missed and all his stories of trains and his adventures to Guatemala. Miss you dad.
Adam Cook

So so sorry. Dick brought so much joy to so many He had a heart as big as all outdoors. He was a wonderful man who will be sorely missed and will live in our hearts forever. My prayers go out to you and Adam and all of the siblings, nieces and nephews I met over the years as well as other family members. Dick's legacy will live on.
Sandie Bryant

I'm sorry for your loss Arlene. Dick gave so much to the SD community over the years. I still listen to many of the recordings he made with fondness. Thank you both for everything you have done for us all.
Eric Henerlau

He was quite a guy. I first met him as the Sound Guy for IAGSDC convention, and learned much more about him in the years after. I know it was quite a journey these past dozen years. He leaves quite a legacy.
Bill Eyler

We, at PACE Extravaganza, appreciated all the years Dick and Arlene did the sound for us. RIP, Dick.
Julia Hoffman

Dick was doing sound for the National Challenge Convention in 1977 when I called there the first time. He tried to explain sound waves and things to me. Wasted effort. lol
Johnny Preston

Yeah, Dick wasn't the best at explaining things. He was knowledgeable, but not the most effective communicator.
I would never had been a Challenge dancer or caller if it wasn't for the support and encouragement of Dick and Arlene.
Del Powell

Me too. Dick and his stories about his trains, and all things train related around the country; his pet squirrel; his love for Arlene and Adam and grandchildren... I was proud to see Dick and Arlene get their 10-year medallion at the IAGSDC convention, having served tirelessly as our sound vendor for MANY years and training us all how to set up equipment for, as Robert French says, the best sound possible. Hugs and kisses, Arlene Cook.... he will be missed.
Ett McAtee

Sad news. Dick and Arlene always took care of the “single” people. I enjoyed staying at the barn several times. Their hospitality was always generous. My condolences to Arlene and their family.
Connie Chevalier

Thank you for sharing this. Dick and Arlene are square dance legends - so many of us have shared their generosity. Dick will be missed. Condolences to Arlene and family.
Cheryl Corrigan

I only danced at the barn once, and enjoyed their hospitality. At Kirkwood one year I needed a 3B partner. Arlene jumped right in and said she would dance 3B with me for the week. Memories…
Anne Pavelka

Condolences to Arlene Cook and family. He suffered for many years. Thanks for posting this, Rob.
Barb Jarvis

This is very sad news.
John Faulds

I'm honored to be included in any picture with Dick. He was one of life's great characters. He made any place he was in more interesting.
Barry Clasper

We also have wonderful memories of our times with Dick & Arlene. The Barn was an amazing place to dance and they were both fantastic hosts. His recordings of dances were legendary for his intros!
Pam Clasper

So so sorry. Dick brought so much joy to so many He had a heart as big as all outdoors. He was a wonderful man who will be sorely missed and will live in our hearts forever. My prayers go out to you and Adam and all of the siblings, nieces and nephews I met over the years as well as other family members. Dick's legacy will live on.
Sandie Bryant

Dick was an amazing individual. He helped Jeff and I pull off some amazing events at Lake Tahoe, and was a big part of helping us gain acceptance within the straight sq dance community. He was a complete original and one of a kind. He will be so missed.
Dennis Moore

Leon and I are so sad to hear about Dick. You were a wonderful couple who gave their all to square dancing and so many other things. We appreciate all Dick and you have done. Hugs from San Jose.
Judi Eskenazi

Thank you for sharing this. Dick was full of so much energy and spitfire. His and Arlene's legacy is so big. Cook's barn was a taste of what hospitality and squares community was, the best of it. He's good people.
My first time meeting him was at a PACE dance, and he asked me my name and then what it was short for. I asked him to guess. I left before I could tell him, and decided then that I'd never let someone leave before telling them my given name, if they looked like they'd like to know. And gosh, that collection of trains.
Bex Clark

I once engaged Dick to help me on a rail industry consulting project. I think Dick knew more about railroad signal technology than anyone I had ever met. We had a lot of fun kicking this stuff around. The basement of his barn was like a railroad signal system lab. It was great to see someone who truly loved what he did.
Paul Galburt

Photos