Pearl Harbor Survivor Lonnie Cook Laid To Rest

Sunday, August 11th 2019, 12:14 am
By: Erick Payne

People across the state celebrated the life of a Pearl Harbor survivor who called Oklahoma home for most of his life

98-year-old Lonnie Cook was one of the last remaining survivors of the attack when he died just a couple weeks ago.

People from as far away as Tulsa drove to Morris to pay their respects at his funeral.

Lonnie Cook's family said the outpouring of support has been phenomenal.

His funeral was full of emotion as the community helped send off an American hero.

Cook grew up in Morris and spent most of his life in Oklahoma.

"This is where he's from, he's an Oklahoma boy," Pat Cunanan, Cook's daughter, said.

She said the ceremony and procession was something they'll never forget.

"It's truly honorable what they've done for a native Oklahoman," Cunanan said.

Cook was inside one of the U.S.S. Arizona's turrets when the Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor.

"My dad was one that did not like recognition, he kind of stood back," Cunanan said.

More than 1,100 of his shipmates didn't make it off the battleship alive.

He saw action in several more battles during World War II and witnessed the now-famous raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima from a Navy destroyer.

"We just need to pay our respect to the men of that generation, because they are very few and far between," Cunanan said.

Last Man's Club of Tulsa member Neil Kingsley knew Cook for the last six years of his life. He said Oklahoma has been humbled by the life of the veteran who lived here.

But he'll be remembered for much more than his actions in World War II.

"He got out all of his hunting belt buckles he had gotten for marksmanship for winning first place over and over and over and over. That was something he earned, something he was proud of," Kingsley said.

An avid hunter, fisher, family-man and patriot. Now buried next to his wife in Oklahoma.

"They're at peace together in the Morris cemetery," Cunanan said.

The Patriot Guard Riders helped lead Cook's procession to his final resting place.  As it passed, families stood on the side of the road watching and waving American flags to pay their respects.