Chief John L. Cook
Former Conroe, Denton TX fire chief dead at 62
Vol. 27 Summer 2012
Former Conroe Fire Chief John Lee Cook, Jr. died Saturday at the age of 62. Cook spent more than 40 years in the fire service, including six years as Conroe Fire Chief from 1981 through 1987, before becoming Fire Chief in Denton, Texas. Cook also served as Director of Fire and Rescue Services in Loudoun County, Virginia; Assistant Chief with City of Dallas Fire-Rescue; and adjunct faculty member at the National Fire Academy. In recent years, Cook worked as a public safety consultant and had numerous articles published in various periodicals, and was frequently invited to speak at fire service related events.
Retired Conroe Firefighter Charlie Womack was there when Cook’s firefighting career began in the late 1960’s. Cook and Womack were students at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville when Womack says Cook decided to volunteer with the Huntsville Fire Department. John Cook was HFD’s first student volunteer and his close friend and classmate, Charlie Womack, was HFD’s second student volunteer.
Womack says from the beginning, as a rookie firefighter in Huntsville, Cook had a way of analyzing things and making improvements, even when he had to use his own money. Cook graduated before Womack, splitting up the team, but they always stayed in touch. When Cook became Conroe Fire Chief, he tried to lure Womack from his post in The Woodlands. At first, Womack declined, but he later wound up in Conroe anyway. Cook moved on to the Denton Fire Department, but as always, the friends remained in touch.
Womack says Cook left an indelible mark on the Conroe Fire Department that reaches beyond the many friends he left behind.
“John is the guy who made CFD what it is today,” Womack said. “Pound for pound, Conroe is as good as any fire department in the country.”
“Those guys still do a tremendous job,” he said.
At the time of his death, Cook lived in Georgetown with his wife Elizabeth.
Additional information and arrangements will be posted as they become available.