Donald Cook ’33

Donald CookDonald Bowker Cook, 97, of Spring Run, PA, formerly of Hockessin, DE, passed away July 16, 2014 at home, surrounded by his loving family.

Born January 14, 1917 in Easthampton, MA, he was the son of Melvin Jesse and May Bowker Cook. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years, Elizabeth Conant Cook on March 18, 1996 and by a son, Peter Bennett Cook, on August 19, 1986.

He was a member of the Menallen Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Biglerville, PA, and the Wilmington (DE) Monthly Meeting. He attended Baltimore Friends School, graduating from the Williston Academy, now the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, MA. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Physics from Princeton University (1938), going on to earn an M.A. from Columbia University (1939). From 1939 to 1942 he held a three year fellowship in Langmuir Film Research from the Texas Company. From 1942 – 1946 he a was a research physicist employed by the Columbia University Division of Government Aided Research in development work for the Manhattan Project. During that time he headed a research group in charge of a pilot plant for the isotope separation plant at Oak Ridge, TN. From 1946 – 1950 he researched Niobium superconductivity for a PhD in Physics at Columbia University in 1950. That year he accepted a position as a research physicist for the DuPont Company in Wilmington, DE, specializing in nylon product development (hosiery and carpet fibers). In 1986, he retired to Spring Run, PA.

He was a lifetime member of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. An active Friend (Quaker), he was Clerk of the Wilmington Friends Meeting for 5 years, served several years on the Advancement Committee of Friends General Conference, and was a Director of the Friends Meeting House Fund In Philadelphia. He served as president of the DuPont Experimental Station Credit Union, President of the North Mill Creek Association in Delaware, and was a docent and volunteer at Greenbank Mill, a division of Historic Red Clay Valley. A talented musician, he loved to play the piano, often volunteering to play wherever a pianist was needed. He sang in the Mercersburg Community Chorus for several years. A member of the Hockessin Friends softball team, he also enthusiastically played ping-pong, squash, and tennis. He enjoyed Scrabble and his electric trains. In retirement, he assisted with maintenance projects on family farms. Most of all, he loved to have his large family gather around.

Surviving are two daughters, Dorothy C. Coady and her husband Roger, of Newville, Elisabeth (Lissa) E.C. Coady and her husband Robert, of Spring Run; three sons, Roger C. of Daly City, CA, Alan H. and his wife Janice, of Thetford Center, VT, Avery M. and his wife Paula, of Mercersburg; nine grandchildren, Philip Coady, Betsy Paroby, Jonathan Coady, Rachel Fortney, Diana Coady, Jesse Cook, Emily Cook, Andrew Cook, Nathaniel Cook; two step-grandaughters, Gretchen Mellott and Noelle McQuait; five great grandchildren and one step-great grandchild.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.