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5/17/2013 8:44:00 AM
David Alden Herrick Cook
March 3, 1923 - May 14, 2013

David Alden Herrick Cook, 90, of Waldoboro, a consummate musician, an early adherent of organic farming, an avid sailor, and a devoted husband and father, died on at his home on May 14.

He was born on March 3, 1923, in New York City, the son of John Alden Cook and Louise Herrick Cook, and grew up in Tenafly and Englewood, N.J.

David attended Englewood School for Boys and graduated in 1942 from Englewood's Dwight Morrow High School. He then completed officer's training at the New York Merchant Marine Academy and served the rest of WWII aboard Liberty ships in the Atlantic and Pacific.

After the war, he studied piano tuning and repair at New York Technical College. A natural musician, David had perfect pitch and could play nearly anything by ear; he was especially proficient on the piano, guitar, and accordion.

With his mellifluous baritone, he wooed the love of his life, Carol Haase Wilson, a widow with a two-year-old daughter. He and Carol were married in Baltimore, Md., on Nov. 26, 1953, and David immediately adopted Carol's young daughter, Dana. Four more children-Louise, Dave, Andy, and Margaret-came along between 1954 and 1963.

David and Carol settled in 1954 in Washington, Conn. There, David established his own business tuning and restoring pianos, including for a number of prominent musicians, such as violinist Isaac Stern, conductor Andre Previn, composer Leroy Anderson, and singer Art Garfunkel. He also played guitar in the locally noted Tude Tanguay square dance band.

At the same time, he led the family in a farming enterprise that included, at various times, a one-acre vegetable garden, half a dozen Guernsey milkers, dozens of laying hens, beef cattle, sheep, pigs, turkeys, honeybees, and horses. He and Carol were adherents of organic farming and healthful eating as far back as the mid-1950s and raised nearly all their own meat, eggs, and vegetables.

David and Carol also made time for regular picnics and hikes, family singalongs, and reading-aloud sessions. David was a deacon of the First Congregational Church of Washington, and he and Carol were life members of the NAACP. In addition, David painted hundreds of pieces of colorful, creative folk-art furniture over the years.

In 1986, he and Carol retired to Harrington. For 21 years, they finally had time to indulge in a passion dating back to childhood for both of them-sailing, on their 31-foot sloop, Halcyon. In 2007, with David's memory and Carol's mobility failing, they (and their much-loved dog, Bailey) moved in with their daughter Margaret in Waldoboro.

David was, above all, unfailingly gallant-considerate of lonely souls and kind toward those to whom life had dealt a short hand. And throughout his life, he was a magnet for babies and children-entertaining them with witty songs and funny faces.

He remained ever-gracious in the face of Alzheimer's disease and congestive heart failure. After a month-long hospitalization for pneumonia in March 2013, he returned home under hospice care. It was a time of bonding and love, with much singing; reminiscing; and reading aloud from family favorites.

David was predeceased by his parents and brother, Edward Cook.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Carol; daughters, Dana Cook Grossman and husband Dan of Thetford, Vt., Louise Cook and partner Arthur Tashiro of San Francisco, Cal., and Margaret Cook and partner Steve Warren of Waldoboro; sons, Dave and wife Joana Jebsen of Sherman, Conn., Andy and wife Astrid of Whale Pass, Alaska; and sister, Anne Cook Murphy and husband Richard of New York City; grandchildren, Emily Grossman Reilly and husband Tom of Ashland, Mass., Joanna Grossman Miller and husband Nate of Stow, Mass., Matt Cook of Brookfield, Conn., Darcy and Allyson Cook of Sherman, Conn., Cecily Cook of Malmo, Sweden, and Spencer Cook of Redway, Cal.; great-grandchildren, Meredith and Phoebe Reilly and Nora Miller; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Celebration of David's long and rich life will be held 3 p.m., Sun., July 14 at the First Congregational Church, 6 Kirby Rd., Washington, Conn., followed by a reception in the church's Parish Hall.

Arrangements are being handled by Long Funeral Home of Camden, (207-236-0092, or http://www.longfuneralhomecamden.com to leave online condolences).

Related Links:
• Long Funeral Home of Camden



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