William K. Cook

William K. Cook

William K. Cook, 89, of Callahan, Fla., passed away Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

He was born October 26, 1929 in Tallahassee, Fla. to loving parents Eva Patterson Cook and Dessie Roland Cook.

He graduated from Leon High in 1946. After graduation, he moved to Callahan, Fla. to join his uncle’s turpentine and pulp wood business. In 1950, he joined the United States Air Force during the Korean War. In 1954, he returned to his career in Callahan, where he began building his forestry legacy. In February 1955, he married Betty Pickett Cook, a nurse and later a philanthropist who not only became the director of nursing for the Nassau County Health Department but would serve as Nassau County’s first woman county administrator. Together, they had two sons, William Kindree Cook Jr. and Robert Patterson Cook.

The Cook’s loved being parents and grandparents, traveling, playing golf, and family. Betty P. Cook was his lifelong partner and wife until her death in 2013. They were married for 58 years.

During Mr. Cook’s life, he had many accomplishments including president of the Florida Forestry Association, chairman of the board of Nassau County State Banks, creation of the Florida Forestry Foundation, Florida Forestry Tree PAC, as well as being honored to the prestigious Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2017. Mr. Cook was a true leader, entrepreneur, and family man.

He is survived by his sons, William Kindree Cook Jr. and Robert Patterson Cook (Michele); grandchildren, Dr. William Burgess Cook, Robert Patterson Cook Jr. (Elizabeth), and Caroline Michele Cook, sisters, Kathryn Cook Cox, Betty Cook Miller, and Kate Cook Raulerson (Ray); and many loving nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 15, 2019 at the First Baptist Church of Callahan with Pastor Lynn Hyatt officiating. Mr. Cook will be laid to rest with his wife at Live Oak Baptist Church Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to advance cancer research at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. They should be directed to the Mayo Clinic Development Office, 4500 San Pablo Road South, Jacksonville, FL 32224.

Please share your memories and condolences at www.oxleyheard.com.

Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors


Mailing Address:
PO Box 16766
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

Physical Address:
511 Ash Street

Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Phone: (904) 261-3696
Fax: (904) 261-3698