Billy Dean Cook passed away April 11, 2019 at Bryan Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was 86 years old.
Billy was born in Portland, Tennessee on August 5, 1932 to Lester and Bonnie Cook. He was united in marriage to Shirley Ann Schmitt on July 12, 1952 in Indianapolis, Indiana and shared 58 years of marriage before her passing on October 4th, 2010.
Billy was a U.S. Navy veteran and during his early career was employed at Eli Lilly Company, Atkins Saw of Indianapolis, IN and taught drafting at Purdue University. Later he was employed as an Industrial Engineer at M & D Store Fixtures in Cambridge City, IN, AVCO Precision Products of Richmond, IN Streater Industries in Albert Lea, MN, Store Kraft Manufacturing in Beatrice, NE, and finally Owner and Operator of C & K Concepts. In his retirement years he owned the A & N Bar in Wymore, NE.
Billy was a recognized authority in tool and die manufacturing; designing and developing commercial store fixtures along with the machinery to manufacture them. He was known to be the best manufacturing shop organizer in the industry. He was accredited with many patents and innovations throughout his career even helping design a retarded bomb fuse for the U.S. Government and designing shelving for the Library of Congress. Billy was blessed with an entrepreneurial spirit, loved working with his hands and could fix anything. His leisure time was spent enjoying football, auto racing and the history channel. He also enjoyed cooking, gardening and entertaining. He had a lifetime love affair with morel mushrooms, sardines on saltines, cheese curds and could make a mean pot of Italian spaghetti sauce.
Billy instilled in his children the value of a strong work ethic, the importance of setting goals, and developing a passion for their chosen fields. He stressed respect for others and the importance of always standing up for their beliefs. He will be greatly missed by all.
He is survived by his children: Deborah (Mike) Caris of Plymouth, MN, Brenda Steinkamp of Lincoln, NE, Michael (Dena) Cook of Lincoln, NE, Mark Cook of Dallas, TX, Cheri Cook of Woodland Park, CO. Grandfather to Jason (Marie), Jeff (Christine), Joshua (Stacey) and Jonathan (Melissa) Caris; Eric (Mollie) Steinkamp; Adam and Andrew Cook; Carsen and Madisen Cook. Great Grandfather to Adelyn, Caedon and Selah Caris; Grant Caris; Nolan and Grayson Caris; Kingston and Maddix Steinkamp; brother and sister-in-law William and Linda Allee of Greencastle, IN, nieces Cynthia (Kevin) Knotts, Tamara Allee (Charles Crowder) Teresa Hess (David Dickerson) and Veda Jean Tobias, all of Indiana.
Preceded in death by his loving wife Shirley Ann Cook; parents, Lester and Bonnie Cook; sister, Dorothy Jane, her husband Norman Nicolai and their daughter Shari Lynn; father and mother-in-law John and Lola Schmitt and son-in-law Keith Steinkamp.
A memorial service and celebration of life will follow at a later date in Cambridge City, Indiana.
Memorials can be made to the family for future designation at: Alternative Funeral and Cremation Services, 245 No. 27th St. Suite B, Lincoln, NE 68503
A special thank you to the people at Brentwood Estates and Bryan Hospital in Lincoln, NE for their loving care and support during his final days.