Food Culinary 17

Ray Francis Cook

July 9, 1934 ~ September 16, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old


Ray Francis Cook, 89, passed away on September 16, 2023, at his home in Ammon, Idaho, surrounded by his loving family after suffering a massive stroke on September 11, 2023.

Ray was born on July 9, 1934, to Lester J. and Alice Priest Cook. He had two older brothers, Alan and Delwin, and a younger sister, Carol. He attended schools in Idaho Falls, graduating from Idaho Falls High School in 1952. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

During his teen years, he worked as a car hop for A&W and set pins for the local bowling alley which attributed to his love for bowling. After graduation, he began working for Ford Johnson Oil Company until he acquired his own gas station. He operated the Shell station on Broadway and then owned Ray’s Conoco on First Street in Idaho Falls. In 1978, he purchased the A&W franchise that he had car hopped for as a teenager, and in 1979, opened A&W Family Restaurant on 17th Street. He was a boss and a mentor to hundreds of young employees.

After the restaurant closed in 2008, he worked for Sam’s Club and enjoyed the customers and fellow workers. He retired from Sam’s in 2022, but did not stay retired for very long when he took the position of dining room host for Chick-fil-A. He enjoyed greeting the guests and working with all the many employees, including four of his grandchildren. He always loved visiting with people as well as seeing if there was anything he could do for them. He enjoyed doing anything with his wife and family, fishing with friends, snowmobiling, bowling, golf, watching sunrise and sunset, any beautiful Idaho scenery. 

On April 20, 1956, he married Myrlene Olson in the Ucon Ward Chapel. They had three children and later divorced.

On June 8, 1970, he married Kathy Brown in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were later sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple for time and eternity. Kathy brought three children to the marriage whom Ray adopted. They also added one more daughter to the family in 1972. They had 53 wonderful years together, managing a business and raising their family. He will be sorely missed by his family and all who knew him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; his children, Kyle (Kathy) Cook, Alan Cook, Shellie (Charlie) Lohman, Blaine (Jeanette) Cook, Michelle (John) Bitton, Marcia (Ryan) Whitesides, and Patti Rae (Travis) Jensen; 21 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his two brothers, his sister (who passed 5 hours before him); son-in-law, Jeffrey Frank Tschikof; two grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. in the Ammon Foothills Stake Center, corner of 49th South and Ammon Road. There will be a viewing Thursday, September 21, 2023, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 S. Ammon Road, and Friday one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be in the Taylor Cemetery. 

The funeral services will be broadcast live here.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests and would appreciate donations be made to help cover funeral costs. 

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September 21, 2023

6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Wood Funeral Home East Side
963 South Ammon Road
Ammon, ID 83406

September 22, 2023

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Ammon Foothills Stake Center
3934 E 49th S
Ammon, ID 83406

Funeral Service
September 22, 2023

11:00 AM
Ammon Foothills Stake Center
3934 E 49th S
Ammon, ID 83406


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