LONGVIEW—A celebration of life and memorial service for Byron Floyd “Biff” Cook III was held Saturday, June 25, 2011, at First Presbyterian Church in Longview. Interment will be at a later date in Colorado.
Mr. Cook died peacefully on Tuesday, June 21, surrounded by his family. His death ended a long and difficult battle with cancer.
He was born April 9, 1949, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to Byron F. Cook Jr. and Mary Cunningham Cook.
Mr. Cook spent his childhood in Rockdale, graduating as salutatorian of his high school class. He then attended Austin College in Sherman, where he met his wife of 40 years, Suzanne Loaring Clark Cook.
In the third grade, he was burned over 25 percent of his body when his bathrobe caught fire by a space heater. He missed the following semester of school as he recovered from the subsequent surgeries, and was cared for by the local town physician. That event instilled in him a desire to be a doctor, and care for others.
Upon graduation from Austin College, he attended the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, choosing to specialize in general surgery. He completed his surgery residency at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, then completed a fellowship in peripheral vascular surgery.
In 1982, Mr. Cook and wife settled in Longview with their four children.
He devoted his life to caring for others, finding his special passion on a mission trip to Mexico in 1985. He went as often as he could, introducing many friends and colleagues to the community of Niltepec and its special needs.
Mr. Cook was preceded in death by his parents, Byron and Mary Cook.
Survivors are his wife, Suzanne; four children, Courtney Spearman and husband Jim, Chad and his w ife April and grandsons William Coleman and Byron Benjamin, Jessica and her partner Noell, and Seth and his wife Erin; two brothers, Tim Cook and wife Sheila of Liberty, Morris Cook and wife Julie of Howe; and a sister, Rebecca Cook Kirkpatrick and her husband Bruce of Norman, Oklahoma; also, several nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Byron F. Cook Medical Mission Fund, care of Texas Bank & Trust, PO Box 3188, Longview, TX 75606; or to Beacon Hospice, 5016 Gilmer Road, Longview, TX 75604.