Cover photo for Thomas Lee Cook's Obituary
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1925 Thomas 2023

Thomas Lee Cook

January 24, 1925 — October 7, 2023

Thomas L Cook, 98, died October 7, 2023, after a brief period of declining health. Tom was born in Ada Oklahoma to Robert E. Lee Cook and Grace Anderson Cook on January 24, 1925. His family moved to Tulsa when Tom was one. He lived a balanced life of adventure, friends, family and work, as a youngster and as the patriarch of a large family. Tom and his three sisters spent their childhood enjoying a loving family, taking music lessons, doing chores, and helping at the family grocery store. Tom’s values of caring and giving support came from this experience, and informed how he raised his family. When Tom was a senior at Central High School WW II was calling men to serve. Without hesitation Tom enlisted in the Navy and shipped out. His time on the USS Prichett confronting the enemy in the Pacific Theatre was intense and memorable, shared only later in life. Being in war at a young age shaped Tom’s feelings about country, service, patriotism.


After the war Tom married his high school sweetheart Phyllis Carlton, took over running the family business (Standard Grocery & Mkt, 1st & Boston) and started a family. With four children Tom and Phyllis were busy—as Boy Scout leaders, taking the kids to Philmont Ranch every summer, participating in sports and school activities. It was the life Tom enjoyed as a child, the one he was sure to provide for his own.


Standard Grocery was the hub of a vibrant downtown scene: pedestrians throughout the day; arrivals and departures of passenger trains; busy barber shops; hotels of dubious distinction; entertainment nightly at Cains. The store was a success and the business served Tom and Phyllis well, allowing them to have a good life, provide for the children.


Eventually Tom retired from the demands of grocer, butcher, employer and looked forward to new adventure and time on the golf course with friends. Tom had been a star athlete in school, and with his companion Anne Medice he competed in Senior Olympics, winning medals year-after-year moving up to national competition in horseshoe pitching and bowling. The grandchildren marveled at his skills and competitive nature. Tom Cook was a man of fine character, who set the standard for his descendants. With family, friends, even strangers, a big smile and hearty laugh were trademark Tom.


Tom is survived by his four children, Myra Sellers (Phil Haney), Chris Lewis Elzo (Ned), Clint Cook (Vicki), and Steve Cook. Grandchildren include Monica Griffin (Tom), Jason Jacobs, deceased, JL Lewis (Haley), Annalise Messner (Billy), Crystal Turpin (Ryan), Cody Cook (Kristine), Carson Cook. Many great and great-great grandchildren: Casey, Max, Grace, Megan, Kyle, Hannah, Harper, Susannah, Tina, Bristol, Kamden, George, Cooper, Grant, Charlie, Sammy, Emma, and adopted children John Cook (deceased) and Lucinda Zapp. He was predeceased by his parents, and sisters, Emily Caldwell, Roberta Thomas and Gloria Davis.


Arrangements are entrusted to Schaudt's Tulsa Funeral Service, 5757 South Memorial Drive, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74145. Family and friends are invited to leave kind words of comfort, share special memories, and offer condolences to the family online at www.schaudtfuneralservice.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Lee Cook, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, October 20, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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