Louis Raymond Cook passed away at home in Santa Ana, Thursday, February 27, 2020. Louis is remembered as a gentleman, devoted to his family, and a man of high morals with an exceptional work ethic, who gave immensely of his time and skills to many organizations throughout his life. He was a brilliant scientist who enjoyed a successful career but more importantly he gave selflessly to his many friends and family. Lou was respectful, kind and a gentle man.
Louis was born to John Edward Cook and Mary Philomena (Weinandy) Cook on May 2, 1926 in Toledo, Ohio. He was the youngest, and last surviving child of seven siblings: Vernon, Mary, Joe, Fred, John, Lillian, and Francis (Fr. Timon OFM). He attended St. Thomas Aquinas grammar school in Toledo, Central Catholic, and Macomber Vocational High Schools where he excelled in science, auto repair and all shop classes. He was a Boy Scout in grade school and a racing car pit crew member during high school.
Louis was in the U.S. Navy Air Corp from 1944 – 1946 as an aviator and aircraft gunner. He was in the Navy V5 Cadet Program at Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania, where he was on the football team and an extraordinary gymnast. After an honorable discharge in 1946, he began studies at the University of Toledo graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in 1952. Louis was on the production team for the Repertoire Little Theatre, a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, and was a champion on the bowling team and the St. Thomas softball team in 1947. He was active in the Newman’s club, crowned king at their dance in 1949, and active member of the Toledo Council of Catholic Youth. Louis worked as a conductor for the New York Central Railroad while at the University of Toledo. He also completed courses towards a M.S. in Space Technology at the University of Southern California in 1958-1959.
Louis met his wife of 68 years, Gloria Ann Dugan, bobbing for apples at a University of Toledo Newman’s Club Halloween party. Lou and Gloria were married in 1951 in Toledo where their first daughter, Teresa Ann was born. After Lou received his degree in 1952 he moved the family to Santa Monica, California, to work as a test flight engineer at Douglas Aircraft Corporation. He helped test or oversaw the testing of all the major Douglas (McDonald Douglas) aircraft (F4-D, F5-D, AD-5, DC-3, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10 and the C-17 Cargo) until his retirement in 1992. He designed and managed the Quartzsite Integrated Acoustic and Engine Test site in southwestern Arizona and the Aerophysics Windtunnel testing lab in Long Beach from 1980 to 1999.
Lou loved boating and fishing, and had a charter business on Lake Powell and in Baja California in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He took his family and friends on many boating trips out of Newport Beach, Dana Point and Baja. He was an active member of the Balboa Power Squadron holding many positions including District Commander and Educational Officer. Once he retired he volunteered at the Chino Planes of Fame El Toro Aviation Museum restoring many aircraft. He received Congressional Recognition through the City of Santa Ana in 2008 for his work restoring the A-4 Skyhawk. Lou built a replica of all the places he and his family lived on a model train track in the backyard and was a member of the Southern California Garden Railroad and Los Angeles Railway Societies. He was also a member of Catholic War Veterans, the Knights of Columbus, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Rocket Society, the American Institute of Avionics and Aeronautics, the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, El Toro Historical Foundation, the Mariners Foundation, Navy League of the U.S., and the American Legion. He was a faithful Catholic devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and active at Holy Family Cathedral.
Louis is survived by his wife, Gloria, son James Allen (Cheryl), daughter Mary Beth Cook (Jim Baker), grandsons, Ian (Lauren), Jimmy (Ann), Patrick (Samantha), great granddaughters Liliana and Brianna, and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Tuesday, March 10 at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange. The rosary and viewing will begin at 11:00 am, and the funeral mass at 12:10 pm, followed by a graveside service at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange at 1:30 pm and by a celebration of his life at his home in Santa Ana. Louis requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his name to the United States Power Squadron Educational Fund, Post Office Box 1603, Newport Beach CA 92659-0603. Further information can be found at:
in lieu of flowers
Louis requested that donations be made in his memory to:United States Power Squadron Educational FundBalboa Sail and Power SquadronP.O. Box 1603, Newport Beach, CA 92659-0603
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