Cover photo for Thomas James Cook's Obituary
Thomas James Cook Profile Photo
1944 Thomas 2023

Thomas James Cook

February 2, 1944 — May 26, 2023

Tom was born 2/2/44 in Ada, Oklahoma.

He lived in OK briefly with his mother, Hollie Mae Williams, until moving to Great Falls, MT. While a toddler, Hollie met and married Donald Cook, his adopted father. After high school graduation, he met and soon married Shirley Vossler. The couple moved to the Bahamas, where Tom worked at a resort, playing piano for guests. Upon moving back to the states, they had a child, Jamie Rae, who passed a few months after her birth. Tom and Shirley divorced shortly thereafter, while remaining good friends throughout his life. In 1969, Tom met Darlene Harris. They married, and after living a short time in Missoula, moved to Southern California so he could play piano professionally. The couple moved back to Montana, living in a variety of Montana communities. During that time, Tom was active in Jaycee’s, once placing first at state, and competing at a national level. While in Jaycee’s Tom made many lifelong friends. While living in Polson, Taunia was born. They finally settled in Lolo, Montana where another child, Renata, was born. Tom made Lolo his new home, actively engaging in community events, including the Lolo Water Board, and Lolo PTSA. In Lolo, Tom owned a car lot and worked in real estate as well as working several years with the Silver Collector Car Auctions. Tom and Darlene eventually divorced. Tom continued to live in Lolo and Florence. He later left his Montana home to live near Renata and her family in New Mexico.   

Tom will be remembered for his amazing piano playing talent, cruising around town in his collector cars, and his “Tom Cook stories.” 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sibling and his infant daughter. He is survived by his children, Taunia Bell and Renata Welch (Jake) as well as his grandchildren Brian and Emma Welch, Peyton Riska, Dominic and Callen Bell. In addition, he leaves behind his canine companion, Azel, who continues to miss his company and sneaky treats. A special recognition also goes to his friend Joel Julinsky. Also, special appreciation to his daughter Renata and her husband Jake, for taking care of him until the end. 

No services are planned at this time. Tom had a deep appreciation for Lolo and the community. Donations can be made in Tom’s honor to the Lolo Community Club by check to PO Box 462, Lolo MT 59847 or at any Trails West branch. Please specify donation account.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas James Cook, please visit our flower store.


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