We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Ammon
William Wylie Cook Jr., 78, of Ammon, passed away June 20, 2022, at The Gables of Ammon. He was under the care of his loving family and Aspen Home Health and Hospice.
Wylie was born February 22, 1944, in Tela, Honduras, to William Wylie Cook Sr. and Mary Louise Corbin Cook. His father and grandfather both worked in the tropics for the Standard Fruit Company and the United Fruit Company, running banana plantations. He grew up in Honduras, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and went to high school in New Orleans, Louisiana. He had a life-long love of Central America and his roots there. He continued his education at Rhodes College in Tennessee, majoring in History.
He was married to his first wife for a brief time, when he had his son, Bill, and his daughter, Kim. Years later, Wylie met Karen Burden while they both worked at the DFW Airport. (Quick trivia: They both worked at DFW Airport the day it opened for American Airlines!) On March 8, 1975, he married Karen in Kennewick, Washington. Wylie and Karen made their home in many places, including Smithfield, TX; Murray, UT; Broken Arrow, OK; Arlington, TX; Birmingham, AL; Grapevine, TX; Londonderry, NH; Midland, TX; Mission Viejo, CA; and Idaho Falls, ID.
Wylie was a manager at American Airlines Headquarters for over 30 years and started the AAdvantage Program, amongst many other accomplishments with the airline. He loved his job working with both people and airplanes, and was a Spanish translator. He loved American Airlines, but when the opportunity arose for a buy-out, he took it to pay for his daughter, Ashley’s, bone marrow harvest, in case her childhood cancer ever relapsed again. He also worked at Fidelity Investments in New Hampshire for 10 years and developed a 300 seat call center. One of his work specialties was developing call centers and maintaining them for other various companies as well. He was a beloved boss everywhere he ever worked, and he brought his kindness, patience, compassion, integrity, and virtue to every job.
Wylie joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on their second anniversary. It took him 19 sets of missionaries, but when he learned about Christ’s visit to the inhabitants in the Americas after His resurrection, it matched the local stories he’d heard growing up in Central America. He finally developed a testimony of the Book of Mormon and couldn’t wait to get baptized. Wylie, Karen, and their eldest daughter, Shannon, were sealed together in the Washington D.C. Temple on October 20, 1981. They then gave birth to daughters, Cherie and Ashley. Wylie and Karen were also later able to be sealed to Kim in the Salt Lake City Temple in 1991, and Bill in the Newport Beach Temple in 2009. They also selflessly and lovingly adopted two grandchildren, Kaylee and Cheyenne, and raised them as their own. Wylie had a rock solid testimony of the gospel and especially had a strong love for the doctrine of eternal families. He served in the Bishopric as well as various other callings and was a life-long disciple of Christ. Even through the end of his days, fighting Alzheimer’s, he never wavered in his testimony, and always remembered that he was a faithful member of the church.
Wylie was a friend to everyone he ever met. He told the best stories and loved to make people laugh. He was one of the funniest, goofiest, and most hilarious men to ever live. Even in his last days, when his memory was no longer intact, he still had his amazing sense of humor and there was always laughter surrounding him. He fiercely loved his family and had an incredible ability to find laughter through trials. If you knew him, you loved him.
Wylie is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Karen Cook; son, William Wylie Cook III of Oklahoma City, OK; daughter, Shannon Winkel (Lamar) of Idaho Falls, ID; daughter, Cherie Musick (Jared) of Roseville, CA; daughter, Ashley Cuff (Craig) of Sandy, UT; daughter, Kaylee Cook of Ammon, ID; daughter, Cheyenne Cook of Evans, GA; sister, Billie Lou Smith (Kent) of Prattville, AL; 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Kimberly Nay; granddaughter, Heather Cook; and great grandson, Bentley Cook.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, June 25, 2022, at the Stonehaven Ward, 2055 Coronado Street, Idaho Falls, Idaho, with Bishopric Member, Ryan Riley officiating. The family will visit with friends from 11-11:45 a.m. prior to services at the church. Burial will be in the Ammon Cemetery directly following the service.