James Kenneth Cook, 76, of Hazen, ND, passed away at his home on Thursday, July 25, 2019. Services will be held at 10:00 AM CDT, Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at St. Martin’s Catholic Church, Hazen, with Fr. Tom Grafsgaard officiating. Burial will be in the Church Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Monday at the church with a vigil service to begin at 7:00 PM.
James Kenneth “Jim” Cook was born to Joseph B. and Jean M. Cook on January 26, 1943, in Fargo, ND. He grew up on the family farm south of Fargo and was a 1960 graduate of Fargo Central High School. He attended North Dakota State University and graduated in 1964 with a degree in animal science. While at NDSU, Jim was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the Saddle and Sirloin Club. He won the overall showmanship contest at the 1964 Little International Livestock Show. An avid NDSU Bison fan, Jim proudly wore the green and gold.
After college, Jim joined his parents in moving from Fargo to Cook Angus Ranch at Hazen, ND. They raised registered Angus cattle and held several annual production sales. Over the years, Jim expanded the productivity of the ranch with several irrigation systems as well as conservation practices. He was a member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and the North Dakota Angus Association. Jim raised pheasants for many years to stock the area.
On May 22, 1971, Jim married Brenda Grensteiner at Braddock, ND, and together they had two children, Susan and Brad. Jim left ranching in 1988, and he and Brenda established Cook Specialties through which they provided unique promotional items and employee incentive gifts to various businesses.
Jim was active in his community and served on many boards and belonged to several organizations including the Hazen Jaycees, the Mercer County Fair Board (he was a charter member), the Mercer County Planning and Zoning Committee, and the Mercer County Farm Bureau.
In his free time, Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, and woodworking, and he had a special knack for fixing just about anything and everything. He was lucky enough to successfully harvest a North Dakota moose in 2011—the same year Brad harvested one.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, William Joseph Cook. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Brenda; his daughter, Susan (Dion) Gress, Hazen; and his son, Brad Cook, Mandan, North Dakota. He took great delight in his granddaughter, Allison Jean Gress, and his grandson, Colton James Gress.
Jim is also survived by, brothers, Bob (Coreen) Cook, Huntley, MT, and Tom (Judy) Cook, Parkville, MO; brothers-in law, Duane (Marlene) Grensteiner, Northfield, MN, and Ron (Aimee) Grensteiner, Urbandale, IA, step-grandson, Jacob Gress of Mandan, and many nieces and nephews.
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