Robert A. Cook

Bob CookRochester, NH – Robert Allyn “Bob” Cook, CDR, USN (Retired), 78, of Rochester, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 at Cedar Healthcare Center in Portsmouth, NH. He was born in the Bronx in New York City on August 5, 1943. He was the beloved son of the late Robert Herman Cook and the late Lillie (Taylor) Cook McDonough.

Bob was raised in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ and graduated from Ridgewood High School. In his youth he enjoyed playing baseball and football and going to Camp Brookwoods in Wolfeboro, NH. Bob’s connection to New Hampshire is strong. His Taylor lineage goes back to North Hampton in 1632. He spent his summers at a family cottage in Alton Bay and fished many streams in New Hampshire with his dad.

After high school he joined the ROTC program at Yale University and received his bachelor’s degree in 1965. Upon graduation he entered the US Navy nuclear power program and became an officer in the nuclear submarine force. He served in the US Navy in active and reserve duty for over 30 years retiring in 1994. He was very proud of his time in the navy, sharing many fond stories of his time as an officer on the U.S.S. Will Rogers. One of his favorite stories was seeing an arctic tern on the periscope during one of his watch duties. Known for its long migration, arctic terns travel thousands of miles a year, and millions of miles in its lifetime. He was amazed to see a living creature so far from land, in such a desolate place. Tears filled his eyes in awe of this creature. That was Bob, he loved learning about the world around him, and sharing that knowledge with others.

In 1972, Bob received his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. One of his favorite hobbies was reading the Wall Street Journal and trying to understand the market. He thought deeply about economics and buying and selling stocks. After his retirement from the US Navy, he worked as a government contractor for the US Department of Defense and settled in northern Virginia.

He shared 36 years of marriage with his loving wife Laura L. (Decker) Cook. They met at the beach in Dewey, Delaware and shared many friends. Over the years they enjoyed raising their two daughters, Sally (Salme Cook) Hitchcock and Robin Cook. Bob enjoyed watching his kids’ soccer games, he was the dad who always had the video camera glued to his hand. He prided himself on supporting his kids and their passions throughout his life. In 2016 Bob and Laura moved to New Hampshire to be close to the place he loved.

He leaves his wife Laura L. (Cook) Decker, his two daughters Robin Cook of New Hampshire, Salme (Sally Cook) Hitchcock and son-in-law Michael Hitchcock of East Falmouth, MA, his brother Douglas T. Cook and sister-in-law Jane Cook of Essex Fells, NJ, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister Gail E. (Cook) Van Dyke of Marin County, CA. Gail was one of Bob’s best friends, confidants and champions over the years. They had similar sense of humor and would often call each other and talk into the night about all sorts of subjects.

A graveside service with military honors will held at 12 pm on Friday June 10th, 2022 in the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, NH. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held immediately following the burial, details to follow.


Gerry Doyle: I am sorry to report that our classmate and NROTC shipmate Bob Cook passed away on April 26, 2022, in Portsmouth, N.H. Bob and I were close friends beginning freshman year at Yale. His wife Laura told me today that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Following graduation from Yale, Bob was an officer in the U.S. Navy nuclear power program, including service on the U.S.S. Will Rogers. He also received an MBA from Wharton, and after his Navy retirement he spent many years as a contractor for the Department of Defense.