Reverend Michael J. Cook, age 75, of Newark, DE, died on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
Born in Wilmington, DE on May 7, 1947, he was a son of the late Francis C. and Mary Mildred (Eckrich) Cook. He attended grade school in Wilmington at Little Flower (mission of St. Patrick’s) and Christ Our King schools. Father Cook began his spiritual formation at St. Charles College in Catonsville, MD, where he attended high school and two years of college. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Mary’s Seminary and University at Paca Street in Baltimore, MD, he completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary’s Roland Park and was ordained on May 19, 1973 by Bishop Thomas J. Mardaga in his home parish of Christ Our King.
Father Cook served in the diaconate at St. John/Holy Angels in Newark from 1972 to 1973. Following his priesthood ordination, his first posting was Holy Rosary Parish in Claymont, where he served from 1973 to 1978. He was next associate pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Castle from 1978 to 1982; associate pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Elsmere from 1982 to 1987; and associate pastor of St. John/Holy Angels Parish from 1987 to 1989. In 1989, Father Cook was named pastor of St. Matthew’s Parish in Woodcrest from 1989 to 2001. He returned for the third time to St. John/Holy Angels Parish in 2001 and remained in Newark until 2011. His final assignment was at Holy Family, also in Newark, from 2011 to 2018 where he retired after 45 years of service. He continued to serve at Holy Family for many years afterward. Father Cook also served as the chaplain for the DelMarVa Boy Scouts of America from 1982 to 1992. He was honored to receive the St. George’s Award, the highest adult religious award, from Bishop Robert Mulvee in 1991.
Father Cook loved to teach Bible to all groups, especially primary grades, which he spent many years with the young people of his parish. He also spent a number of years teaching in Religious Education Programs, working with 3rd through 5th grades.
As an avid model train collector, Father Cook maintained an extensive collection of HO scale trains to run on his several layouts. He greatly enjoyed traveling with friends. He had visited all 50 states, and several provinces in Canada. Father was a great believer in Amtrak, and crossed the country at least a dozen times by train. In his younger years he visited many amusement parks, and rode all the roller coasters. Father had a great collection of books, all of which he had read, at least once! Also, he had a large collection of DVD’s for movies and CD’s for music.
Father Cook was preceded in death by his parents, Francis C. and Mildred M. Cook. He is survived by his siblings, Patricia A. Carr of Huntington Beach, CA and Robert F. Cook (Bonnie) of North Wilmington; nephew, Daniel R. Cook (Melissa) of Oxford, PA; nieces, Kimberly A. Wee (Boon) of Fountain Valley, CA, Shannon A. Carlson (Rick) of Kuwai, HA, and Laurie F. Cook of North Wilmington; and great-nephews, Ethan J. and Brayden R. Cook of Oxford, PA, and Maddox B. Wee of Fountain Valley, CA.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10:15 am until 11:45 am on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at Holy Family R.C. Church, 15 Gender Road, Newark, DE 19713, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 12 pm. Interment will follow in Cathedral Cemetery, 2400 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington, DE.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Father Cook’s memory to Holy Family R.C. Church at the address listed above.