Jack Cook was 91 years old. His 21 year career as a Mountie, during which he formed and directed a marching band of sixteen singer- instrumentalists, himself playing both trombone and tenor drum, came to an end when he retired in 1963. He had been the first vocal soloist of the RCMP band, performing from coast to coast, singing bass-baritone solos to such dignitaries as Charles de Gaulle and Dwight Eisenhower. Originally born in Virden, Manitoba, Mr. Cook graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Ontario and Saskatchewan. He also took singing lessons in New York, San Francisco, and twelve years with Bernard Diamant in Montreal, and became a professional singer. Mr. Cook was a member of Musica Antica E Nuova directed by Celia Bizony. He went on to giving weekly CBC broadcasts as one of the Vocal Art Trio of Ottawa and was the recipient of the award for Best Soloist in the CBC program, Nos Futures Etoiles. He continued to work at home as a singing tutor until his passing, with members of RFC staff on the list of his pupils.
For the last fifty years he owned the Canadian handcraft store, Canada’s Four Corners on Sparks Street, Mr. Cook was a pioneer in the support and promotion of Canadian artists which included native and inuit art. Having also owned the Pinecraft furniture factory in Almonte, for twelve of those years. Mr. Cook was an accomplished pilot who logged over 10,000 flying hours and was the Chief Flying Instructor at Rockcliffe airport, among many others.
He is survived by his wife, Grace; his son, David; his grandchildren, Jill, Lindsay, and Brandice; his great-grandson, Dylan; and his beloved friend Lila and the Ghaffari family. He was kind, modest, and witty; the most generous and extraordinary man with a heart of gold. Jack Cook will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts. Friends are invited to visit Beechwood Cemetery & Funeral Services, 280 Beechwood Ave. (East of Vanier Parkway) on Sunday, November 17 from 2 to 5 p.m. for a reception in Honour of Jack. – See more at:http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ottawacitizen/obituary.aspx?n=jack-cook&pid=168018065&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.2RCuzGpN.dpuf