Ray Francis Cook obituary

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

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

On April 20, 1956, he married Merlin Olson at Yukon Ward Church. They had three children and later divorced.

On June 8, 1970, he married Kathy Brown in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were later sealed into the Idaho Falls Temple forever. Cathy brought three children to the marriage, whom Ray adopted. They also added another daughter to the family in 1972. They spent 53 wonderful years together, running businesses and raising their family. He will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; his children, Kyle (Kathy) Cook, Alan Cook, Shelley (Charlie) Lohman, Blaine (Janet) Cook, Michelle (John) Peyton, Marcia (Ryan) Whitesides, and Patty Rae (Travis) Jensen; 21 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his two brothers and sister (who passed 5 hours before him); his brother-in-law, Jeffrey Frank Chekoff; two grandchildren; and one great grandson.

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

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

    (tags for translation) Wooden Funeral Home and Crematory 

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