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Monthly Archives: January 2010

It was almost surreal.  He had done everything he knew to do.  He had worked for years at being the husband his wife needed.  And now, he sat in my truck crying uncontrollably.  We were moving him out.  For years he and his wife had been separated in so many ways yet lived under the same roof, and now they would no longer live together.  We were moving him to an apartment where he would try to find some peace and still work on the marriage.  But it was so sad and he was so incredibly heartbroken!  His emotion ranged from relief to guilt, from hope to despair.  I promised him things would get better and that God could still heal this broken marriage.  My words sounded hollow, even to me.

Days later this note came in the mail:

Jon, Always and forever such a good friend. You are my brother.  I dream of days on earth when my speech is littered with the excitement of God’s revealed work in my life.  Someday we’ll laugh in houses not made with hands, not move out of houses full of tears.  Thanks for being there for me.

No matter what challenge we face in life, we can always face it with an eternal perspective.  We can somehow always know that the day will come when we “laugh in houses not made with hands.”  We will be healed in every way and enjoying the presence of God in a way reserved for heaven itself.

 [I wrote my father’s obituary and it appeared in The Oklahoman on Sunday, December 13, 2009.  Now, a month later, he is missed more than ever.  Enjoy reading about a very special man.]

Judson Cook was a friend.  Everyone he met during his 90 years would admit that he was a loyal and faithful friend, focused on the needs of other people, committed to his wife, Wanda of 65 years, and his children, Melanie and Jonathan.  His legacy is one of having loved and served God with all his heart. He made a difference in the lives of thousands of people by making sure Oklahoma Baptists had what they needed to care for children.  He was a gentle man in every way, always the peacemaker and caregiver to any who were in need.  He was a wonderful model of a husband, father and grandfather.

 Millard Judson “Jud” Cook was born June 28, 1919 near Fox, OK, and passed away December 11, 2009.  He is survived by his wife, Wanda.  They married January 23, 1944 while both were students at Oklahoma Baptist University.  He is also survived by a daughter, Melanie Coldren of Edmond, her husband Mike; son Jon of Edmond, his wife Sherri; five grandchildren, Katie Morris, her husband Michael, Amy Coldren, and Emily, Michael and Matthew Cook.  Judson is the last surviving of nine brothers and sisters. 

Judson held degrees from Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  For over 40 years he served Oklahoma Baptists in a variety of positions.  He pastored Oklahoma churches in Tussy, Pernell, and Roff.  In 1949 he joined the staff of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma where he devoted nearly 40 years of his life.  He served as Superintendent of Boys Ranch Town, Edmond.  He was the Business Manager of Falls Creek Baptist Assembly, Davis, OK. Most of his career as a denominational leader was with the Department of Child Care.  As Field Representative and later Director of Public Relations & Development he worked tirelessly making sure that children and adults who were cared for by Oklahoma Baptists had everything they needed.  In retirement he enjoyed his own business, Cook Institutional Development Services, Inc.

 He went on, in retirement, to direct the $25 Million Campaign for the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma.  He was founder and president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives.  That organization honored him in 1984 with the Lifetime Achievement Award and as Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year in 1985. 

 Oklahoma Baptists also recognized his remarkable life naming a cottage after him on the campus of the Baptist Children’s Home in Madill, OK.  In 2004 he was named a Centennial Hero by the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.  He was a long-time member of the Downtown Rotary Club #29 and a Paul Harris Fellow.

 Judson and Wanda have been members of Oklahoma City’s First Baptist Church for over 60 years.  Judson has always been proud and grateful for a wonderful church home full of lifelong friends.