June 24, 1951 - January 10, 2022

 

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Michael Lee Cook passed away peacefully at the age of 70 in Princeton, MN, on January 10, 2022. He was born on June 24, 1951, in Eau Claire, WI, to Wilbert and Geraldine (McBride) Cook. He will be deeply missed by his wife, Bonni; children, Nikki (Kenny) Elton and Nate (Korine) Cook; grandchildren, Dylan, Cole, and Gracelyn; siblings, Pat (Martha) Cook and Kathie (Pete) Moberg; sister-in-law, Terry Placek; nieces, nephews, cousins, friends; and his lab, Winchester. Mike was preceded in death by his brother, Jimmy; his parents; and grandparents, James and Mazie McBride and Wilbert Sr. and Dorothy Cook.

Mike moved frequently as a child while his father was in the Marine Corps. The family settled in Crystal in 1960. Mike’s father died shortly after that. He attended St. Raphael’s Catholic School in Crystal and then Cooper High School. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Mike became a third generation Marine. He enlisted in 1969, served in Vietnam, and was discharged in 1971. Mike was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.

While growing up, Mike especially enjoyed his summers in northern Wisconsin with his grandparents, Jim and Mazie, and his cousin, Bob. Those memories were shared throughout his lifetime. Mike met the love of his life, Bonni, in 1972. She was introduced to him through her roommate’s boyfriend. Bonni brought a level of peace and harmony to his life, and they were married in 1974. They first lived on a farm in Watertown where they welcomed Nikki in 1976. They moved to the Princeton area soon after and have been there ever since. Nate arrived in 1978.

Mike worked as a welder at Hoffman Engineering in Anoka for almost 20 years. After retirement he continued doing his taxidermy. He was a Youth Firearms Instructor and an avid sportsman, fisherman, and hunter.

Most important to Mike always was his family. He will be forever remembered for leading the “Raisin Dance” (I Heard it Through the Grapevine) with his hockey family. The Cook family had numerous pets over the years. As wedding gifts, they received two pigs and some rabbits. Their growing pet family included numerous dogs, cats, many more rabbits, and even a skunk named Ono. Nikki’s horse, Bay, lived to be 38 years old. Nikki and Nate competed in 4-H in horse shows and also showing their pet rabbits. Mike and Bonni supported their kids as well as their grandchildren, Dylan, Cole, and Gracie, in many sporting activities, which included swimming, baseball, football, hockey, soccer, and volleyball games. Cole brought a lot of excitment to their life when he started racing in his Micro Sprint Car! Mike was so very proud of all of them!

In the summers, Bonni and Mike enjoyed spending time Up North. First, for many years at Sunset Bay Resort on Mission Lake, where they made many lifelong friendships. After that at their cabin on Kego Lake by Longville. The cabin became a gathering spot, especially on 4th of July, with assorted tents and trailers parked on Puddin’ Point by the lake (named for his sister, Kathie). In the fall, Mike continued to enjoy duck and deer hunting. He got to spend quality time doing that with his son, Nate, and brother, Pat, his grandkids, and assorted friends. The hunters gathered annually at the Falcon III out in his pole shed to tell stories and celebrate. Ice fishing was a winter hobby, but even more enjoyable, was the time spent on South Padre Island, TX, during those cold MN months. What could be better than Happy Hours with friends and surf fishing with Bonni!!

With his magnetic personality and big smile, Mike made an impact on everyone he met. He was well known for the colorful Hawaiian shirts he wore. Mike will be missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be on FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2022, from 1:00-3:00 PM at Williams Dingmann Funeral Home, 205 S. Rum River Drive, Princeton with a Celebration of Mike’s Life at 3:00 PM. A gathering will follow at the local Pizza Pub’s Raven Room. There is handicap accessible parking at the lower-level parking lot. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family that will be donated to Mike’s favorite charities.