James “J.R.” Roscoe Cook of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma passed away with his sister by his side in her home in Edna, Kansas on February 25, 2022 at the age of 83 after a long battle with heart disease.
J. R. was born on January 31, 1939 to James T. “Tex” and Goldie (Harrison) Cook in rural So. Coffeyville, Oklahoma. He graduated from Lenapah High School, attended Coffeyville Community Jr. College and completing his education at the University of Oklahoma with his master’s degree.
J.R. started his career in education in the 1970’s as a Cherokee math teacher and basketball coach in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Because of his loved and passion for his Native American heritage and seeing a great need to help Cherokee youth he also worked as the director of one of the nation’s largest Upward Bound programs at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. He saw a lot of potential in American Indian youth, but knew that in order to combat critical issues facing youth he needed to take is passion further. On April 16, 1976 under his leadership United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. was born. In 1978 J.R. joined forces with Unity; the collaborated efforts of two organizations allowed for more opportunities to help American Indian youth. In 2013, J.R. retired after decades of tireless service to American Indian youth.
J.R. was a member of the St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Oklahoma, City. He enjoyed in sharing a good meal with family and friends, especially with his friends at the Bedlam BBQ in Oklahoma City. Supporting education in Oklahoma was always very important to J.R. and continued to finds ways to still be active even in failing health.
J.R. is survived by his sister, JoAnn Carney who cared for him until his passing, his faithful dog, Jake who he so loved, his good friends, George and Janice Owens, Ryan Aduddle, Mark Scott, Robert Moran, Jan English, Norma Roupe and Dr. Darrell Mease, lots of cousins and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Marvin Carney.
Private Graveside services will be held under the direction of Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at Mount Washington Cemetery, Lenapah, Oklahoma where he will be laid to rest next his parents. Friends may leave an online message of condolence or share a memory at www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com