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In Memory

William 'Bill' Boyd Cook, former dean, died June 13

June 15, 2010

William "Bill" Boyd Cook died Sunday, June 13, 2010, of natural causes at a Fort Collins skilled nursing facility. Bill was born on July 20, 1918, in Dallas, Texas, to James Monroe and Nancy Lucile (Holland) Cook. His childhood was spent in various places in Texas and New Mexico. Bill graduated from Amarillo High School. He had a sister, Edith and a brother, Holland, both of whom died before adulthood.

Accomplished chemist

Bill received his B.A. in Chemistry with honors from the University of Texas in 1940 and earned a M.S. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Colorado in 1942. He began his career as a chemist at Monsanto Chemical Company from 1942 until 1947 when he was a Ph.D. student and instructor in chemistry at the University of Wyoming. He earned his Ph.D. in 1950 and was promoted to Assistant Professor at Wyoming through 1952.

Bill continued his career as Associate Professor at Baylor University from 1953 through 1957. He was Professor and Head of the Department of Chemistry at Montana State University from 1957 to 1965 when he became Executive Director of the Advisory Council on College Chemistry at Stanford University until 1967.

Came to Colorado State in 1967

Bill came to Colorado State University as Dean of the College of Science and Arts from 1967-1968 and continued there as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences until his retirement in 1983. Bill published numerous articles on natural products chemistry and chemical education. In addition, he presented his research at many international meetings and traveled the world advising institutions and governments on chemistry education. He served as the Chairman of the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society in 1969.

Following his retirement, Bill participated in several volunteer activities: Front Range Forum, the founding of Elderhaus, the Colorado Commission on Aging, United Way, Special Grants Committee, Opera Fort Collins, FTC Library Trust, Fort Collins MOCA, several advisory boards, and the Fort Collins Rotary Club. He received several awards for his service including Fort Collins Rotary's 'Service Above Self' in 2006. He also volunteered as a reading tutor for children in the Fort Collins Public Schools.

Generous, kind, big smile

Bill married Romerta Marie "Merta" Fox on Sept. 4, 1942, in Belle Fourche, S.D. Merta died in May of 1980. Bill is survived by his son, Kem Holland (Susan) Cook; granddaughter, Keegan Cook Finberg; four nephews and his special niece, Merta Marie "Marty" (Darrell) Hoyer.

On June 6, 1981, Bill married Roberta "Bobbie" Atkinson Crews and gained three more children who also survive him, James (Jan) Crews, Thomas (Brenda) Crews, and Gail (Michael) Berkery. He is also survived by grandchildren, Ashley and Kiley Crews, Tom and McKenna Crews, and Abigail and Ethan Berkery.

Bill was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He enjoyed traveling the world, hiking, biking, golf, reading and discussion groups (starting several himself). Many days, surrounded by his family, he enjoyed the view from his deck. He was generous, kind, open, and he warmed a room with his big smile. Bill will be dearly missed by his family and friends. He continues to be a role model and a hero to those who knew him.

Memorial Service June 18

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, June 18, 2010, at First Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Bill's memory by donating to the CSU Foundation for the Faculty Development Fund (donate online to the Bill Cook Memorial Fund) or to Pathways Hospice in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 650 West Drake Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526.

Please visit to sign the family guest book and send condolences.