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Rodney J. Cook

July 24, 1939 ~ February 7, 2017

Rodney Jay Cook passed away on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the Clearwater Village Assisted Living Center in Clearwater, Kansas.

Rod was born to Perry Jay Cook and Opal May Cook on June 24, 1939 in Caldwell, Kansas. Rod had two siblings, Louis Vern Cook and Lois Kathryn Croft. They learned about life and made lots of friends in the small town of Caldwell, Kansas. While Lois roller skated up and down the neighborhood road, Rod and LV swam with friends at Bluff Creek. Rod graduated high school in 1957. His first car was a 1949 Oldsmobile. Shortly after high school Rod joined the Air Force in 1959. He was stationed in France and worked as a military police dog handler. While in France, Rod spent some time traveling. After returning from France, Rod met Elaine Turner in which they had two children, David Russell Cook and Gretta Nike Wise. Rod then pursed a bachelors degree in engineering. He worked in many trades and endeared many hobbies. Sometime around 1976 Rod had an idea for a transmission and worked on it off and on for 41 years. One of his favorite jobs was working at Contech as an engineer. After his retirement Rod moved to Caldwell and enjoyed spending time with friends and pursuing interest in Caldwell History. He co-authored William Sherod Robinson Alias Ben Wheeler and authored George and Maggie and the Red Light Saloon and Caldwell Stuff. On February 3 Rod’s dream of 41 years came true. His IVT transmission was submitted to the USPTO.

Rodney was a grandfather of Alexandrea Acocella and Jacob Wise and great grandfather to Eli and Audrey Acocella.

Rodney truly lived life to the fullest and will be remembered always.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Thursday, February 16, 2017 at the Caldwell Opera House.

Memorials may be given in memory of Rod to the Caldwell Historical Society, Caldwell High School Alumni Association, Caldwell Public Library or to the American Lung Association and left in care of the mortuary.

Leave Condolences


Sorry to hear, will be missed.

Eric Eaton - 02/07/2017

Hated to hear this news. He was such a blessing to the town of Caldwell and the Historical Society. Always a pleasure to sit down and visit with him. He will be dearly missed by all.


So sorry to hear of Rod's

Bob Ginn - 02/07/2017

So sorry to hear of Rod's passing. He was a huge help for us in creating the Caldwell arch lettering for the name "Caldwell" on the arch itself. VERY nice to work with and his knowledge of computer design helped us tweak the shape of the lettering to fit the complex curvature of the images.


Great saddness to hear of Rod's passing

John F Grove - 02/08/2017

My sincerest condolences to Rod's family and the Caldwell Community. I met Rod 12 years ago in my pursuit of history in Caldwell. He was always very gracious, helpful and became a good friend. Rod was always a champion of Caldwell's past and its future. No doubt he will truly be missed. I for one will miss him dearly.


Goodbye man. I love ya.

Karl Kiefer - 02/10/2017

Rod and I worked together for the better part of 20yrs as a good engineer / manufacturing team. I had the greatest respect for his flexability and willingness to listen and contribute to solutions of problems we would encounter. I always enjoyed the conversations about current events we had and learned a little something each time... a true friend and one of the wisest men I knew. He always brought a smile to my face when he would stop by to chat and I will dearly miss his presence.


Our Condolences

Mary & Gary Wolfe - 02/10/2017

We knew Rod as a wonderful man, but also as an Author, Inventor, Designer, Historian, Egyptologist, Veteran, and all-round Good-Guy. From bungee jumping at the state fair to herding longhorn cattle down Caldwell's Main Street and retelling tales of the old west, he was always full of life and good times. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. We will truly miss our good friend!


Sorry to hear of his passing.

CLEO VANDRUFF - 02/12/2017

I did not get to know Rod well. He was not with us here at Clearwater Village long. He was always so upbeat and happy. We did not realize how sick he was. I am sure he will be miss by his family and friends.


Uncle Rod

Vicki May - 02/13/2017

From my earliest memories, Uncle Rod (and his brother, Uncle LV) was a huge part of our lives. From family dinners, to the Holiday's, etc, Uncle Rod was always there. We loved sitting around the dinner table hearing stories from his childhood and that of our Grandparents. The stories never got old, and it did not matter if we had heard them before, each time he told a story, it was just as special. I will always remember the laughter that filled our homes when he was there. I will miss his warm hugs, or as we called them, "Ooo-Aww's".

We love you, Uncle Rod. -Jason, Vicki, Trevor, Ally, & Taylor


Dear friends and family of Rod

Old West Collec... - 02/23/2017

The employees at Old West Collectables in Sisters Oregon are so sad by the news of Rod's passing. Heartfelt condolences to his friends and family. Our shop was owned by Len Gratteri, a co-author and friend of Rod's. They wrote a book on Ben Wheeler together. I have had the pleasure of talking to Rod on the phone, I was not fortuante enough to meet him. He was a very nice man, we had some great visits. He and Lenny had still been in contact over the years. Lenny had great respect for Rod as an author and friend.

We lost Lenny in October, I hope they are up above discussing western history and meeting people they only knew form western lore.

Prayers to the family.



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