John Paul Cook | Passages

Former Friday Harbor resident John Paul Cook died May 14, 2010, in Rathdrum, Idaho.

He was born in Stockton, Calif., in 1923. He moved to Juneau in 1957 from Bend, Ore., to work as a printer with The Juneau Empire, with his family initially living above the Empire facilities, then located at Main and Front streets. Shortly after statehood, he began working at the state’s Wage and Hour Division in the Department of Labor. He retired in 1982 as director of Workers Compensation.

He served in the U.S. Army’s 381st Infantry, 96th Division, during WWII and saw action at New Guinea, Leyte and Okinawa. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart after being severely wounded during the campaign on Okinawa.

John loved boating, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, family picnics, the Seahawks, the Yankees, strawberries, chess and peanut butter. Early years in Juneau often found John and his wife, Alice, with two very small kids and dog, Pooh, in tow, walking from their small house on North Seward Street to their 14-foot boat in Harris Harbor for weekend fishing and camping trips on outlying islands and bays.

Of these numerous processions, his family jokes that paper bags of food, sleeping bags, makeshift coolers and tarps were lugged with cheerful diligence along the mile-long route without incident or complaint. Following the acquisition of a motor vehicle, John and family were residents of Fritz Cove and Stabler’s Point in Auke Bay, and later of Seventh Street in town.

After retirement, he and Alice explored the California coast, British Columbia and Southeast Alaska aboard their 28-foot catamaran motorsailer, “Bullfrog,” during which time they happily racked up more adventures and memories. In 1989, they bought a waterfront home outside of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, where they remained until 2003, when illness forced a move off-island where medical services were readily available.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Alice Cagwin Cook, of Rathdrum, Idaho; his son, Paul Frazier, of Plano, Texas; his son, Thomas Cook, of Oak Harbor, Wash.; his daughter, Terry Bickmore, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; his daughter, Cristen Grawcock, of Rathdrum, Idaho; his niece, Carol Gribskov, of Bend, Ore.; his grandchildren, Rachel and Maxx Grawcock, of Rathdrum, Idaho; his grandchildren, Chloe and Cooper Bickmore, of Santa Barbara, Calif.

A private observance will be held for the scattering of his ashes in the Straits of Juan de Fuca in Washington per his wishes.

— Family of John Paul Cook