James Oliver Cook, 80, died on Monday, March 23, 2020, at McLeod Loris Hospital. Most recently, Jim lived in North Myrtle Beach, where he retired with his wife Janice, after raising their four boys in Painted Post, N.Y.
He was born on April 25, 1939, in Elmira, N.Y., the son of the late J. Howard and Agnes H. Oliver Cook.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Janice Fisher Cook; four sons, Scott David Cook (Melanie), Todd Brian Cook (Amanda), Peter James Cook (April), and Joel Eric Cook (Carrie); two sisters, Barb Carol (Glen) Tolbert and Janet Elizabeth (Terry) Miller; 12 grandchildren, Aric Ryan, Jake Ryan, Meghan Ryan (Chad) Gilbert, Molly Ryan (Quame) Patterson, Brooklyn Cook, Logan Cook (David Hopey), Delaney Cook, Dante VanNoy, Ian Cook, Owen Cook, Britton Cook and Anna Cook; 14 great-grandchildren, Nicholas Ryan, Nathan Ryan, Noah Ryan, Nolan Ryan, Addison Ryan, Jonathon Ryan (deceased), Madyson Ryan, Adrianna Gilbert, Brielle Gilbert, Declan Gilbert, Giovanni Patterson, Niko Patterson, Fisher Hopey and Alice Hopey; sister-in-law Marilyn Crosby; nieces and nephews, Eric Bateman, Jon Bateman, Alie Bateman, Katie Bateman, Michelle Wilson, Robyn Ayers, Vicky Naida, Holly Blue and Brett Crosby.
He was affectionately known as Jim, Jimmy, Jimbo, Cookie and Grampy to family and friends. After graduating from Corning Free Academy in 1956, he worked 22 years at Dresser Rand and another 20 years at Corning Incorporated before retiring.
Jim possessed an uncanny ability for problem solving and working with all things mechanical. He leveraged this proclivity in his position as a senior associate engineering technician while working at Corning Incorporated. He had a passion for anything to do with fast cars and airplanes. He was often referred to as “Mr. Fix It” while looking to lend a hand to people in need, especially with their cars. If you owned a VW in the ‘60s, 70s or 80s, sooner or later you would end up in his driveway asking Jim Cook to take a look at it.
While raising his boys, Jim was highly involved with Painted Post Little League, Cub Scouts and YMCA Indian Guides. He cherished the time he spent watching his sons and grandchildren competing in their many sports and activities. Jim was proud to be a past Master Mason of Lodge 168 in Corning, N.Y., and a member of the choir at The United Methodist Church in Painted Post, N.Y. For many years, he enjoyed being a member of the Sports Car Club of America, watching NASCAR long before it was popular, and his time working as a tech inspector at Watkins Glen International.
Jim always found comfort in his family, friends and of course his cats. The Cook Family will hold a celebration of life in Corning, N.Y., in the future.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the Chemung County SPCA, 2435 Route 352, Elmira, N.Y. 14903.
Lee Funeral Home & Crematory of Little River/North Myrtle Beach is serving the family.
A guest book is available at www.leefhandcrematory.com.