A. Wayne Cook, 86, died October 16, 2020 at home on his New Moon Farm, land farmed by his ancestors for 200 years. Wayne possessed the soul of a poet, the spirit of a cowboy, and the heart of a hero. He loved his children immeasurably, teaching them the “Good Morning Song,” and to “listen to the words” of his favorite country songs – the sadder, the better. A gifted storyteller, he delighted in sharing tales about his childhood farming with Daddy Cook, his choir director role at Wednesday Night Choir Practice, and his vacations to North Myrtle Beach, Key West, and Nashville.
Wayne studied at N.C. State University and Pfeiffer College, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business. He began his career at Cannon Mills by pushing a dope wagon part-time during college, and ended it as a Vice President. A dreamer and hard-working entrepreneur, Wayne later owned Ashland Sales, with ventures in textile distribution, hosiery manufacturing, a florist shop, and a book store. He reveled in planning and loved list-making. Yet throughout his busy life, he always made time for farming, primarily raising Black Angus cattle. “Black cows on green grass; prettiest sight I ever did see,” he often said.
Wayne’s only love greater than farming was his family. Surviving family include his beloved Paige Miles Helms; his daughters and sons-in-law, Cathy Cook (Ken Criffield), and Kim Cook (Vince Cline); and his grandchildren, Jessica Cook (Justin Woodell), Aaron Cook, Sarah Cook, and Jordan Cline. Preceding him in death were his parents, Marie “Mama Ree” Winecoff Cook and Marvin S. Cook; his son, Keith Wayne Cook; his grandson, Christopher Cook; and his sister, Carolyn Cook Brafford.
The family expresses gratitude to Dr. Joshua Hall for his compassionate care; and to Wayne’s nurse, Donna, and Hospice for getting him back home to the farm on his final day.
The immediate family held a private Celebration of Life at the farm’s Shop with the Reverend Dr. Cathy A. Cook, Wayne’s daughter, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to UMAR, a nonprofit serving adults with development disabilities, at UMAR, 5350 77 Center Drive, Suite 201, Charlotte, NC, 28217; or to the “Keith Wayne Cook Automotive Mechanic’s Scholarship” at Cook Scholarship, PO Box 1018, Concord, NC, 28026.
Whitley’s Funeral Home in Kannapolis served this family.