David E. Cook, Artist with the Red Beret, passed away on Sunday, November 8, at Hershey Medical Center. David, the son of a military family, the eldest of 5, graduated from Rancocas Regional High School (NJ). He majored in illustration at Syracuse University and entered the US Army in 1965. He was assigned to the Intelligence Corp and successfully completed training as an Albanian linguist at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. From there he was assigned to Kaiserslautern, Germany. He went on to have a unique and varied career as an animation artist, beginning in Houston, TX, story- boarding films for the NASA outer space exploration program. His work expanded from outer space exploration to the exploration of inner spaces of the human body as he began storyboarding and creating artwork for films in the Eaton Medical Science Teaching Series. The first film he did for this series won a CINE Golden Eagle Award. Many of his films and videos that followed won national and international awards.
While his focus initially was in the medical field, his creative genius enabled him to move beyond, expanding into the fields of cartooning, graphic design, corporate logo and identity programs, as well as magazine and book illustration. He made the transition to computer and video graphics, and received a Best of Show Award in an International Audiovisual Competition for a slide show “Predictable Management of Insomnia”. As a freelance artist, he designed and illustrated a variety of works from medical teaching videos, community posters, game designs, calendars, company logos, the Elizabethtown School District’s “Bear” logo which was in use for a number of years, and the Hershey Cow, “Miss Udderly Delicious” for the Harrisburg Cow Parade in 2005. The later years found him at Hershey Park, as a caricature artist, doing funny drawings of people, enjoying very much the interaction with his “subjects” and the resulting creation. His talent, humor and generosity allowed many of those who “sat” for him to leave the Park with an experience not soon forgotten. David received frequent requests to draw caricatures for celebratory occasions, high school proms and graduation events.
David was for some young children, “the best bus driver”. He was a school bus driver for several years and had much fun in finding ways to give his riders a good experience on the bus runs to and from school. One of his successes was providing the students with knock-knock jokes. He would spend time collecting and culling jokes to have five relevant jokes each day of the week. His riders even began sharing their own. His grandson, 7-year-old Anthony, has found his Grampy’s list to be the source of rippling laughter.
David was born in Keene, NH, on Nov 2, 1943. He is predeceased by his parents Col Edgar E. Cook, MD and Barbara L. Cook (Newcombe). He is, with great sadness, missed by his wife, Maureen, their three children and spouses – Jeremy W. Cook (Elizabethtown), Jonathan D. Cook and his wife, Gabrielle (Philadelphia), Megan E. Gallo and her husband, Jonathan (Lancaster), along with their son (David’s special grandson), Anthony. Missing him, too, are his brothers and their spouses, Richard (Rick), m. Trish; Theodore (Ted), m. Deborah; Steven, m. Cindy; his sister, Valerie; his sister-in-law Kathleen Stacy and her spouse, David, and nieces and nephews.
David’s death was unexpected even though he had been struggling with the effects of ESRD and a broken shoulder that didn’t want to heal. Heaven has received the Artist with the Red Beret. Be it that his spirit is as creative as it was on Earth, and that he is entertaining the souls around him by drawing funny faces – and telling knock-knock jokes.
One of David’s favorite projects was the Superhero Project where interviews are conducted with kids and teens with serious illnesses and special needs about their superhero alter egos. The children provide the descriptions, characteristics and actions of their superhero alter ego which artists use to design the character. A visual representation in the form of a comic book cover or poster is created by the artist which is then printed and given to the child. We ask that in David’s memory donations be sent to this project. As this is not yet a non-profit organization, donations can be made to The Superhero Project, c/o Lisa Kollins, 100 Leaview Lane, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022, 440-796-1605, www.superheroprojectkids.org. If a tax exempt donation is preferred, one of the following two organizations which provide support to The Superhero Project can be used: The Cure Starts Now, 10280 Chester Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215, 513-772-4888, www.thecurestartsnow.org or A Special Wish Cleveland, 23 Public Square, Brecksville, OH 44141, 216-513-3023, www.aspecialwishcleveland.org
Private interment will take place in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, at the convenience of the family. Arrangements have been entrusted with the Miller-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, 130 North Market Street, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, 717-367-1543.
Condolences and memories may be shared at: www.FinkenbinderFamily.com
The Superhero Project
c/o Lisa Kollins, 100 Leaview Lane, Chagrin Falls OH 44022
The Cure Starts Now
10280 Chester Road, Cincinnati OH 45215
A Special Wish Cleveland
23 Public Square, Brecksville OH 44141