Trumann philanthropist, community leader dies

Friday, February 24, 2012

Longtime Trumann community leader Billy V. "Bill" Cook died Monday, Feb. 13, at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro at age 82.

The owner and operator of Trumann Hardware from 1977 to 2005, he was a former Trumann City Council member, winner of Trumann's Outstanding Citizen Award, instrumental in the building of the American Legion Memorial Park, Walk of Honor and Boy Scout Hut and instrumental in restoration of the city's Cub Scout and Boy Scout program.

He was a longtime and dedicated member of the Trumann Lions Club, a member of the Jaycees, a 50-year member and chaplain of the American Legion and a former member of the board of the Trumann Housing Authority.

A feature story outlining the details of his life and legacy will appear in next week's issue of the Democrat Tribune.

Mr. Cook was born Sunday, Sept. 1, 1929, in Hoxie to the late John Franklin "Bill" and Ethel Mae Hendrickson Cook. He had lived most of his lifetime in Trumann. He was formerly with the Firestone Store in Trumann and retired from Trumann Hardware in 2005.

He was a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Trumann and a Bible teacher for God's New Life MRTC in Marked Tree.

As a youth, he was an Eagle Scout in Troop 58, played on the high school football, basketball and baseball teams, was a member of All Star team of the first NEA Basketball Tournament and was on the Poinsett Community Club Independent Baseball Team.

He went on to play college football at what was then Magnolia A&M College and later for the Army and coached and played in the 1967 JCC state tournament finishing as runner-up.

He was a member of the Trumann Athletic Booster Club and was president of the Community House Foundation while it was being restored.

Mr. Cook was preceded in death by his wife, Betty B. Cook; one daughter, Roben Cathleen Cook; one son, Kerry Verlon Cook; brothers, Jerry Cook and Robert Cook, and his parents. Survivors include one daughter, Elizabeth Leanne Mitchell of Trumann; one son, Timothy Vaughn Cook of Proctor, Ark.; four sisters, Betty Lou Walker of Walnut Ridge, Ark., Peggy Sue Hastings of Oxford, Mass., Mary Ann Craig and Patricia Neece, both of Pocahontas; four brothers, Tom Cook of Bradford, Ark., Johnny Cook of Trumann, Charlie Cook of Walnut Ridge and Larry Cook of Hoxie; seven grandchildren, Monica Ray, Amber, Jodie and Dustin Cook, Misty Sample, Jordan Heavener and Kirsten Mitchell, and six great-grandchildren, Hannah, Brianna, and Matthew Ray, Kaylabeth Sample, Landon Heavener and Makynley Robinson.

Funeral services were at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the First Baptist Church in Trumann with Dr. Tad Rogers officiating. Burial followed in Oaklawn Cemetery in Jonesboro, under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home of Trumann.

Pallbearers were Danny Bivens, Dale Taber, Bobby Husky, Harley Timbs, Doug Timbs, Jason L. Cook, Eric Cook and Eddie Penna.