Thomas H. Cook ’85
SEBAGO – As peacefully and quickly as Tom entered this world on March 13, 1962, on his mother’s birthday, at the Chelsea Naval Hospital, Thomas exited it just as peacefully and quickly at home on the morning of July 4, 2015, as he went to sleep holding the hand of his very loved and adored wife, Donna. The hand that he had held every night they were together just like sea otters do so that they don’t drift apart.
Tom knew early in life that he wanted to go to Maine Maritime Academy and be a sailor and ship. He did just that by graduating on the Dean’s list at MMA in 1985 with a BS in Nautical Science. Tom loved to ship and did so for over 25 years, travelling all over the world. As much as he loved his life at sea, he loved his wife Donna as much and with all his heart and she felt the same for him. Remember, I love you first, I love you more. You’re my World forever and a day. They loved being together just the two of them and made a million memories and loved a lifetime in the decade that they were married. What adventures they had! A perfect day for them was having their morning coffee, figuring out what’s for dinner that night, reading the paper then heading out to have another adventure of “tomNdonna.” Fall Sunday afternoons would find just the two of them watching the Patriots WIN and having one of their special menus for the occasion.
Tom was predeceased by his fathers: James L. Cook and Lawrence J. Raleigh. He is survived by his beautiful wife Donna Cook of Sebago; and his loving mother, Marjorie Cook-Raleigh; sisters: Margie Saunders and her husband Tommy of Sebago, Janis Romeo and her husband Ken of Weymouth, Mass., brothers: Jim Cook and his wife Patricia of Scituate, Mass., Bill Raleigh and his wife Paula of Naples; stepson: Jeffery Robitaille and his wife Ashley and their three children – his grandkids Jacob, Isaac and Abby of Ft Benning, Ga. He was so very proud of the two of them for serving in the military to keep this great nation of ours free and for vacationing with us in Florida; two brothers-in-law that were loved just like his own brothers: Kelvin Summers and his wife Vivienne of Indianapolis, Ind., Mark Summers and his wife Molly of Plainview, Texas, a sister-in-law: Susanna Parks and her husband Bubby of Amarillo, Texas; mother and father-in-law: Kenneth and Margaret of Hastings, Okla., that loved him even though he was a Yankee. Tom leaves behind many nieces and nephews that he adored. He loved being their uncle. He leaves behind his best friends: Charlie and Deb Baird of South Portland, Special Shipmates: Rick Wilson and his wife Linda, of Mahaffey, Pa., Jimmy Scheck and his wife Liz of Houston, Texas, and his favorite Steward ever, Audrey Brown of Cantonment, Fla.
We wish to thank his outstanding medical team, led by the amazing Dr. Kurt Ebrahim who worked along with Danielle, Missy, Leah, the two Jennifers, Megan, Shannon, Dee Dee and Robin, to take such good care of Tom over these last eleven years. For all of this, our whole family will forever be grateful as you allowed our Tom to continue his career doing what he loved most. You never gave up on him and this support allowed him to live life on his terms. Although it wasn’t always easy working the logistics out with him, it always was very much appreciated. Again, thank you!
There will be a Celebration of Tom’s Life for family and friends at the Salt Water Grille, 231 Front St., South Portland, on Sunday, July 12, 2015 from 1-4 p.m. Please bring your pictures and stories to share.
A scholarship has been established at Maine Maritime Academy to be awarded to a student that is currently enrolled in the Maine Maritime Deck Officer Program and is as passionate about sailing as our Tom was.
In lieu of flowers and to honor our Tom, please consider sending a tax-deductible donation
to the following address:
Maine Maritime Academy
The Thomas H Cook
Deck Officer Memorial Scholarship Endowment Program
C/O The Development Office
Castine, Maine 04420
And in the parting words that he said every time he left to meet his ship, it’s never good-by as I’ll c-ya when I c-ya. Fair Winds and Following Seas!