Edward Paul Cook passed away peacefully on July 9th, 2020 after a complicated battle with Esophageal Cancer and Parkinson's Disease with Lewy Body Dementia. He was born at home on Glendale Avenue in Parkdale on August 29, 1947, the fourth child of the late John Ambrose Cook and Ilene Cook (nee Flintoff).
Ed will be forever remembered by his wife and best friend, Donna, their children Michelle (Mike) and Adam, and his two cherished grandchildren, Mia and Jamie. He will join his late brother, Michael (Lyn), in heaven to resume their pastime of listening to vinyl music. He is survived by his siblings and lifelong teammates: Ambrose (Marianna), Ilene-Ann, Catherine, Chris (Kathy) and his many nieces and nephews.
Native to Parkdale, Toronto, “Teddy” spent his childhood with his brothers and sisters racing down Snake Hill on Garden Avenue, riding his bike around High Park, playing shinny on Grenadier Duck Pond and swimming in Sunnyside Tank. Ed began his education “walking uphill both ways” at St. Vincent’s and moved on to Michael Power and later Parkdale Collegiate. His post-secondary education was in geography at Waterloo-Lutheran University. His career began at IBM and later moved into marketing and consulting.
Ed and his family were deeply interested in trains. From family employment with the railway to the miniature-gage railway built in Craighurst, his life was centred around riding on and sharing stories about trains.
Ed was a proud middle linebacker for East York Lions and Defensive Captain for the Parkdale Panthers. As an adult, his love of sport with his family continued and our family had many memorable moments on the ice together. In his ‘retirement’ from hockey, he played golf with the neighbourhood crew at both Cedar Brae Golf Club and in Florida, his beloved home-away-from-home.
A special and defining place in Ed’s life was the Canadian National Exhibition where he played with his siblings as a child and, later, working as a game attendant, met his high-school sweetheart and love of his life, Donna. Donna was interested in the giant pink stuffed poodle at the game which Ed later brought to her home, beginning his relationship full of thoughtful, romantic surprises. Ed and Donna’s travels took them to beaches and temples in SouthEast Asia, on safari in South Africa, bathing in onsens in Japan, on a heli-tour to hike on an Alaskan glacier, to explore Incan ruins in Machu Picchu, to hunt for monkeys and volcanoes in Costa Rica and to many cafés in small French and Italian towns.
Ed was a caring, loyal father who never missed a school concert or sporting event. He spent many years coaching hockey and baseball. “Coach” Dad was always available to toss the ball around, build a backyard rink or take his kids on the 511 Streetcar to Exhibition Stadium to watch the Blue Jays, continuing the tradition he had built in his youth.
The battle with Cancer and Parkinson’s may have seemed insurmountable to Ed, but he handled every appointment and setback with optimism and resolve. Weakened by his illnesses, he still sang weekly in the Voices of Hope Parkinson’s choir. He was jumping out of his seat at a Leafs game in February and kicking a soccer ball around with his grandchildren only a few weeks before he passed. Ed’s quick wit, competitive spirit, his deep love for his family and his passion for sport and travel will carry on in our daily lives and beautiful memories of him.
A private graveside service will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery with a Celebration of Life to follow after COVID-19 restrictions. Donations in his name may be made to Parkinson Canada.