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Harry's Story

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Harry T. Cook, age 78, retired Episcopal priest, journalist, scholar and social activist, died Oct. 9, 2017 after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.
Harry was born Feb. 4, 1939, in Detroit. He lived in Royal Oak until the age of six, when his family moved to the town of Alden and later Bellaire in northern Michigan. He is a graduate of Albion College and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He served parishes in Pentwater, Detroit, and Clawson. He also worked for the Detroit Free Press as religion reporter, editor and columnist.
After his retirement from parish work, he continued a steady pace of scholarly research and writing, publishing nine books and twice-weekly blogs, as well as being a popular lecturer in the metro Detroit area and nationwide. He was proud that his blogs reached a worldwide audience and enjoyed regular correspondence with his readers, especially those who disagreed with him.
His passion for social justice began with the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He was arrested with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for registering African-American voters in the south and ran an emergency food bank during the Detroit uprising of 1967.
He served in advisory roles for a number of organizations focused on the underserved, including the ACLU of Michigan, Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, Cranbrook Peace Foundation, Clergy and Citizens United, and Crossroads of Michigan. He also served as a volunteer counselor for Crossroads of Michigan.
His biggest passion in life was his family. He enjoyed playing cribbage with his children and gin rummy with his wife. He loved trains and opera. He couldn't pass a bookstore without picking up something to read. His small-town upbringing and outgoing personality meant that he knew someone wherever he went and if he didn't, he made new friends.
He was married to his wife, Sue Chevalier, for 38 years and is survived by her. He was immensely proud of his four children, Robert, Martin (Christine), Sarah (Robert Yates), and Maxwell; his five grandchildren, Alyssa, Cameron, Grace, Julien, and Evelyn gave him great joy. He is also survived by four sisters, Endl Crane, Cam (Bruce) Lacy, Caren (Rick) Culver, and Jeri (Marty Lima) Crittenden; and a brother, Ron (Corey) Crittenden.
Memorial contributions can be sent to Crossroads of Michigan, www.crossroadsofmichigan.org.
A Remembrance Celebration will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Blue Pelican in Central Lake. Please call 231-533-8532 to RSVP.
Published on October 24, 2017
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