- David John COOK
- Edward Allan COOK
- Linda COOK
- John COOK
- Jeffery COOK
Senator Charles David COOK
- Born: 26 Feb 1935, New York, USA 1
- Died: 23 May 2001, Delaware Co., NY, USA 1
"Senator Cook survived by his wife Dorothy Behrens, daughter Linda Fillus, two sons, John and Jeffery Cook. Also sisters Ethel Domonkos, and Mary Kelsey brother Edward Cook Predeceased by sons David John and Edward Allan. Serve as Senator for 20 Years,for the State of New York.A public servant for over 30 years, Charles David Cook left a legacy as a champion of healthcare, education, rural issues, and reproductive choice.
He is remembered as an ethical, down-to-earth, and independent leader who formed strong, personal bonds with the people he served. Honest, compassionate, and hard-working, Cook lived a full life as a legislator, civic leader, educator, and family man.
Born in Deposit, New York on February 26, 1935, Cook graduated from Hancock Central School in 1952, and received his bachelor's degree in political science from Hartwick College in 1956. He became editor of the Bainbridge News in 1957, and entered the U.S. Army in 1958. Upon honorable discharge from the army in 1960, he became editor of the Deposit Courier.
In 1965, he entered public service when he was elected Delaware County treasurer and moved to Delhi, New York in December of that year. He held that position until his appointment as Delaware County commissioner of social services in 1971. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1972, and served through 1978 when he was elected to the New York State Senate.
Cook had extensive committee involvement during his tenure in the state legislature, chairing committees on education, local government, transportation, and agriculture. He was the first chairman of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, which became known nationally for its innovative programs to address the needs of rural residents. As chairman, he authored the legislation that established the New York State Office of Rural Health, which was later named after him, and founded the program of state grants to assist rural health care providers in extending and maintaining services in rural communities. He was instrumental in maintaining a $10,000,000 annual budgetary appropriation to support rural hospitals in diversifying and expanding outpatient services, a program that is still in operation.
He also served as a member of the Legislative Commission on Critical Transportation Choices, and the Council on Health Care Financing. He was appointed by President Bush and his Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis Sullivan to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health, and was summoned to the White House to meet with the president in 1992 as a representative of New York State in discussions concerning the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment.
As chairman of the senate Education Committee, he was the original author of what ultimately became the groundbreaking STAR program for relief of school property taxes for New York residents.
In 1993, he participated in the Oxford University Education Roundtable as an internationally recognized expert on education policy, alongside such leaders as the education ministers of Norway, Croatia, Belarus, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Portugal, Sweden, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Hungary, and Estonia.
Cook helped broker a crucial agreement between New York City and upstate communities in resolution of the heated and protracted controversy regarding watershed regulations in the Catskill mountain region, and he authored original early intervention legislation that provided for early identification, diagnosis, and treatment of developmental disabilities in children.
Cook served in numerous volunteer and civic roles even during his hectic years as a legislator. He was a trustee at Hartwick College, and a member of the Government Law Center Advisory Board at Albany Law School of Union College. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Hartwick in 1989.
Cook, who had developed heart disease, retired from the Senate in 1998 on the advice of his physicians. During his time in the legislature, Cook represented all or parts of 11 different counties, or one sixth of all the counties in New York State.
In retirement, Cook became a trustee of O'Connor Hospital, and was chairman of its annual fundraising efforts. He was also a member of Friends of Bassett Hospital, and served as a member of the New York State Rural Health Council and the New York State Partnership Trust. He also served as a member of the board of directors of a campus ministry organization in Oneonta, and was an honorary director of Delaware-Otsego Planned Parenthood. He was a recipient of a statewide pro-choice award.
Cook also served as an adjunct professor in retirement, teaching history and government courses at Hartwick College, SUNY New Paltz, and SUNY Delhi.
Cook was married to the former Dorothy Behrens, who was co-founder of and long-time teacher at the Delhi Christian Playschool. Together, they had five children, Edward (deceased), David (deceased), Linda, John, and Jeffrey, and five grandchildren, Benjamin Fillius, Jessica Sinkovits, Sarah Cook, Laura Cook, and Amanda Cook.
The Cooks were active members of the United Ministry of Delhi, where Cook often served as lay preacher and participated in committee work. Upon Cook's death on May 23, 2001 at the age of 66, flags at the New York State Capitol were ordered to half-mast, and a flag flew in his honor over the U.S. Capitol.
Among the numerous honors bestowed upon his memory, the New York State Office of Rural Health, the Delaware County Office Building, the Children's Center at SUNY New Paltz, a state nursing education partnership program, and a fire fighting training center are named in his honor." 2
Charles married Dorothy BEHRENS.