Billie and Denis Cook relaxing in their garden in 2013.
Billie and Denis Cook relaxing in their garden in 2013. Ali Kuchel

Celebrating Denis Cook's legacy

Born and raised in the bush with an affinity for the beach, Denis Cook was a great bloke who loved life.

He was educated at St Mary's in Charleville and went on to finish his education at Downlands in Toowoomba.

After leaving school he worked for a short time at Bayards in Queen St, Brisbane, then returned home to work at the family business, Pall Mall, where he lasted 30 years until it closed.

Denis with his parents, Ernie and Lorraine Cook, who owned the family business, Pall Mall, in Charleville.
Denis with his parents, Ernie and Lorraine Cook, who owned the family business, Pall Mall, in Charleville. Contributed

Denis then spent the past 15 years working at the hospital and nursing home.

He loved the oldies, and they loved him.

Up until recently, Denis was still lending a hand at their Monday pottery classes at the Charleville Cultural Centre.

A community-minded man, Denis spent much of his life volunteering for Apex - who could forget his lucky numbers stand at the Charleville show each year?

And in 1991 he decided to try his hand at local government.

Denis Cook with Queensland Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Denis Cook with Queensland Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Contributed

His successful election led to a 25-year career with council, and the last four as mayor of the Murweh shire.

He worked tirelessly for the community during this time and left his legacy on the region he called home.

His wife Billie, and Jamie, Deanne, Casey, Sami, Des, Nancy, Tria and families said they were blessed to have had such a beautiful man in their lives.

And Mickey and Minnie, his "fur babies” as he affectionately called them, were just as much a part of the Cook family.

Not only did he have a Minnie with four legs, he also had a Mini with four wheels, which was his pride and joy.

Denis' health problems began seven-and-a-half years ago, but just like Rocky Balboa, he always managed to land that knock-out blow and bounce back every time.

Tragically, he lost his final battle with cancer, and passed away just after midnight on June 9, 2017.

He will be remembered as a family man, a great mate, and an avid footy fan with a penchant for red handkerchiefs and collecting caps.

Five weeks ago, Angry Anderson with Denis, his son Jamie Cook and Dai Pritchard.
Five weeks ago, Angry Anderson with Denis, his son Jamie Cook and Dai Pritchard. Contributed

Denis' family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Charleville hospital for the standard of care they showed him during this time, and for allowing his fur babies, Mickey and Minnie, to have special visits.

The Cooks would also like to thank everyone at the Charleville Cultural Centre for their love and support along the way.

Denis' funeral was held in Brisbane on Monday, June 19. A morning tea will be held at the cultural centre at 11am on Saturday to honour Denis and everyone is welcome to attend.


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