Cover photo for Charles Wendell Cook's Obituary
1937 Charles 2021

Charles Wendell Cook

August 22, 1937 — October 21, 2021

White Plains

Charles Wyndell Cook was born on August 22, 1937.  He and his twin sister, Glenda, were the youngest of four children born to Pauline and Charles Cook Sr.  They grew up in Buchanan, a small town in southern Virginia.  At 17, Charles enlisted in the United States Navy where he served for 10 years. He served on four aircraft carriers:  USS Wasp; USS Hornet; USS Randolph and the USS Midway.  During his enlistment, he aided in recovering Apollo 11, Apollo 12 and Apollo 13 space capsules.  He often bragged that he had been around the world 3 times!  Ten years after his honorable discharge in 1964, he enlisted in the 101st Signal Battalion (Operations) United States Army National Guard Reserves where he served for 2 years until his honorable discharge in 1976.

As a young man, Charles was an adventurer.  He explored Latin America, particularly Ecuador, where he learned to speak Spanish fluently.  Having a natural aptitude for languages, later in his life, he taught himself Japanese.  Charles was always active and he had many interests: !

He was the first African American to join the Fairview/Greenburgh Volunteer Fire department and he completed a Certificate from the American Detective Training School in Washington DC.  He had many commendations, certificates and awards. He was a hunter(mostly deer), a freshwater fisherman, and a treasure hunter.  He was an avid “do-it-your-selfer” and a certified “Mr. Fix-it”.  And, nobody loved to gamble more than he did!

Charles was devoted to his aunt, Alline Spikes, for whom he functioned as primary caregiver for the past 20 years.  He has a large extended family who he dearly loved.  Charles is predeceased by his wife, Paralee, his sons, Bryan and Christopher, his grandson, Malcolm Gholston and his brother, Peyton.  He is survived by his sisters, Glenda Blake, Cora Jackson and sisters-in-law, June Castleberry and Fannie Cook; his children, Anita and Felton Gholston, Katherine Graham, Marc and Paula Cook; Donna Renee Mandella; Woody Pascal; his grandchildren, Benjamin, Avery, Maya, Olivia, Jeremiah, Markie and AJ; great grandchildren, Jaida and Joel.  His nieces and nephews:  Delores and George, Debra, Roderick, Duane and Yesenia, Ron, Josh, Hassanah, T.J. and many, many more family and friends; especially his devoted friends, Emmett Jones and Yvonne Godbold.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Calvary Hospital, 1740 Eastchester Avenue, Bronx, NY.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Wendell Cook, please visit our flower store.

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Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services (White Plains)

2 Maple Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601

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