Donald “Duke” Cook, 89, died on Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Donald “Duke” Cook 89, of Comfrey, died Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm. Visitation will be on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., and will continue on Saturday from 9 until 10 am at Sturm Funeral Home. Service will be held at Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye on Saturday at 10 a.m. The clergy will be Sr. JoAnn Backes OSB. Interment will be at Home Cemetery in Sleepy Eye with Military Honors by the Sleepy Eye Honor Guard. Reception to be held at the Serviceman's Club in Sleepy Eye following the burial services. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the baseball and softball associations.
Donald “Duke” Cook was born Aug. 31, 1928 in Mulligan Township, Brown County, to George and Barbara (Nowak) Cook. He attended country school in Mulligan Township. He lived his entire life on the family farm except when he joined the U.S. Marine Corp from 1953-1956. He was in at the time of the Korean War, but never saw battle. When he returned from the military, he continued to work on the family farm with his brother Melvin, and playing baseball. He could tell you many stories of the Western Mini League days and he also played fast pitch softball with Leavenworth. He has traveled with family and friends to many baseball parks. He was inducted into the Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Cloud in 1996. In 1956 Duke started a girl's fast pitch softball team out of Leavenworth. Duke coached all ages of girls with patience and precision. He was also the inspiration for the Baseball and Softball Museum in the former parochial school in Leavenworth. He was very proud of all the pictures, news articles and memorabilia that he had put together. Duke has followed every high school sport for girls and boys at many of the surrounding schools. Anytime there was a sporting event, Duke would be there. Duke never married, but his nieces and nephews were his family. As families grew, there came great and great-great nieces and nephews.
He is survived by nieces and nephews: Dawn (Dave) Nazarenus, New Richland, Denise (Jerry) Osborn, Madelia, Dora Cook and special friend, Butch Sellner, Sleepy Eye, Greg (Stacie) Cook, North Mankato, Darla (Steve) Remus, Sleepy Eye, Danelle (Nellie) Wersal and special friend, Steve Macholda, Clements, Rick Cook and special friend, Chris, Comfrey, Doug (Melanie ) Cook, Springfield, Deanna (Darren) Huisman, Jacksonville, Fla., Jason (Michelle) Cook, Granite Falls; great and great-great nieces and nephews: Kelly (Erik), Sonia and Fiona Rubottom, Saginaw, Tyler (Kayla), Svea Nazarenus, Chetek, Wis., Deidra (Wesley) Lewis, Brooksville, Miss., John Osborn, North Mankato, Joshua, Shayla and Nicholas Cook, North Mankato, Sam (Jennifer) Jackson, Maxwell and Harrison Remus, Eden Prairie, Vanessa Remus and special friend, John, Rochester, Sydney (Andrew) Geiger, Nicollet, Karrah Remus, Bryon, Kristin (Dominic) Daveon, Taliah, and Kaylynn Facile, Morgan, Dusten (Breana) Leah and Evan Wersal, Danube, Ryan (Brittany) and Oakleigh Cook, Danube, Alex and fiance Lindsey Cook, New Ulm, Taylor and Carter and special friend, Ashley of Springfield, Jennifer and MaKenna Cook, Springfield, Tessa and Anna Huisman, Jacksonville, Fla., Sebastian Cook, Granite Falls, He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Melvin (Marie) Cook, sister, Della and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Duke will be truly missed by all who have had the privilege to know him. Rest in Peace Duke.