Joseph “Joe” Frederick Cook, 92, of rural Humboldt was born on September 24, 1929, in Dow City, Iowa to William Jefferson and Bernice (Thompson) Cook. He and his younger sister, Betty, lived on a farm near Dow City where they attended rural and city grade schools. In 1938, his family moved to Powell, Wyoming and then on to Cinebar, Washington. In 1940, they returned to Omaha, Nebraska until December of 1941, when they moved to California and later to Tacoma, Washington. Due to his mother’s health, the family moved back to Omaha in 1945. Joe graduated from Benson High School with the class of 1948. After graduation, he moved to Dow City with his family and worked for his father building houses, barns and grain elevators.
On April 23, 1950, Joe was united in marriage to Melba Jeane Ried in Omaha. The couple made their first home on Joe’s grandfather’s farm 5 miles from Dow City where Joe farmed for one year. On March 14, 1952, Joe was drafted into the Army and was stationed near Baltimore, Maryland for two years. He later attended wheel and track mechanic school for four months at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma. Upon his honorable discharge on March 13, 1954, Joe and Melba moved to a farm northwest of Humboldt, Nebraska where Joe farmed for Ilert and Wilhelmina Dahlke until they purchased the same farm in March of 1963. One daughter, Sherri, was born to this union on January 2, 1964.
Joe has been a member of the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ since the age of 12. He attended church with his family in Dow City, Iowa, Washington state and Omaha. After moving to Humboldt, Joe served as treasurer of the Verdon branch and pastor of the Falls City branch for many years. He enjoyed farming and raising crops, cattle and horses. Joe has served on the Richardson County Agricultural Society Board of Directors since November, 2000 and was a member of the Advisory Board for many years prior to that. Joe was a very generous and hardworking man who treasured spending time with his family and friends. He enjoyed good conversation, and was a great story teller; sharing stories of his adventures and life experiences. But most of all, Joe was a loving husband, father, grandpa and great grandpa whose presence will be greatly missed.
Joe passed away on Friday, December 17, 2021, at his home in Humboldt, Nebraska, having reached the earthly age of 92 years, 2 months and 23 days. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Betty Moeller. Joe is survived by his loving wife Melba Cook of Humboldt, NE; daughter Sherri Thames and husband Charlie of Humboldt, NE; grandchildren: Daniel Thames and wife Amanda of Rapid City, SD; Laura Packett and husband Justin of Table Rock, NE; three great grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at the Christian Church in Humboldt, Nebraska with Pastor Howard Blecha officiating. Interment will be at the Humboldt Cemetery with full military honors conducted by the Nebraska Army Honor Guard and Brown-Hays Legion Post #289 of Table Rock.
Visitation will be held from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022, at the Wherry Mortuary, 207 N. Nemaha Street in Humboldt, Nebraska. Family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the family with a later designation.
Condolences can be shared online at www.wherrymortuary.com.
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