Rev. James Woodrow Cook finished his course of life on April 25, 2023 at the Elizabeth Church Campus of the United Methodist Home in Binghamton. He was born March 10, 1929 son of the late William Lee and Ila Jackson Cook in Bluefield, West Virginia and grew up in Dublin, Virginia. He graduated from Dublin High School in 1947, and served four years in the US Navy from 1948-1952, as an Aviation Metalsmith 3rd Class in San Diego, CA and Atsugi, Japan during the Korean Conflict After leaving the service, he was called to the ministry and entered Emory and Henry College, Emory, VA, where he graduated with a BA Degree in Religious Education, during which time he served two small country churches in Bridle Creek, VA, in the Holston Conference. He then moved to upstate New York, and entered Drew Theological Seminary, in Madison, NJ, where he graduated with his Masters in Divinity Degree while serving a four church charge in the Prattsville/ Lexington/ Westkill/ Spruceton area of the Hudson North District, of the New York Conference, and was ordained Elder in 1959. He then moved to Woodstock, NY, where he served the Woodstock UMC Charge of three churches, Woodstock, Wittenberg, and Shady. During his ten year tenure in Woodstock, he was responsible for uniting Woodstock and Wittenberg, and building the new Overlook UMC. In 1969, he moved to the lower Hudson Valley where he served 9 years in Yorktown Heights, four year at Pawling/Poughquag charge, six years at Hyde Park UMC, and then four years at St. James UMC in Kingston, where he was ordained elder and retired to Cape Cod in 1992. In 1993 he served as interim pastor of the Nantucket UMC for six months. He was a team lecturer for the Norman Vincent Peale Foundation for Christian Living Thanksgiving Reunion in Mexico City in 1982, and Honolulu, HI in 1983. After moving to South Carolina in 1995, he established a Chaplaincy Program and served as Chaplain for the Horry County Police Dept. in Conway, SC for over two years, and subsequently, after moving to Sun City in Bluffton, SC, served two small United Methodist Churches ( Swallow Savanah and Gillettt's) in Allendale County as interim pastor for three years. After spending eleven years in Edgewater, FL, he moved back to South Carolina to The Methodist Oaks Retirement Center in Orangeburg, SC in June of 2015 and then in March 2020, returned to New York and resided at the United Methodist Home of Binghamton until his death. He was an avid reader, devoted fly fisherman, and in his leisure time enjoyed golf and oil painting.
Rev. Cook is survived by his wife Elsie B. Gray (Secor) Cook whom he married in 1983, a daughter Kathryn Marie Spiegel, stepson John ( Susan ) Secor of Shokan, niece Patricia (Kevin) Umhey of Shokan, nephew Wayne (Janet) Gilbert of Port Ewen, cousins Joan (James) Deck and Carol (Edwin) Scott both of Florida and several grandchildren also survive. He was predeceased by a son Trinkle Lee Cook in 2015.
His funeral service will be held on Monday May 1, 2023 at 11am at the St. James United Methodist Church 35 Pearl St. Kingston Friends will be received on Monday prior to the service from 10am to 11am at St. James. Burial in the family plot at the Woodstock Cemetery. The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the St. James UMC, 35 Pearl St. Kingston NY 12401, designated to be used for the organ maintenance. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia. You may share a special memory, photo, or condolence with the family on Rev. Jim's Tribute Wall at www.gormleyfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. James W Cook, please visit our floral store.