Herbert Victor “Herb” Cook, longtime owner of Dave Cook Sporting Goods and a supporter of Denver’s Jewish community, passed away July 10, 2018, two weeks shy of his 94th birthday, in Los Angeles. Rabbis Joe Black and Steven Foster officiated at the July 13 service at Temple Emanuel. Interment was held at Mt. Nebo Cemetery. Feldman Mortuary made the arrangements.
“He was one of a kind,” eulogized his son-in-law Rick Sapkin, who spoke for the family. “He represents a generation that is quickly fading.”
Mr. Cook’s eight grandchildren, led by speakers Gregg Farber, Brooke Lande and Tyler Lande, also stood on the bimah.
Herb Cook was born July 23, 1924, in Denver, to Dave and Jane Cook. That same year, his father Dave and Uncle Max founded Cook Sporting Goods.
After buying out his brother’s shares, Dave opened Dave Cook Sporting Goods on Larimer Street in 1936.
Herb Cook grew up in Montview with his brother Richard and graduated East High School. Despite being accepted at Stanford, he chose to attend CU because it was more affordable.
“Dave kept a ledger of all of Herb’s college expenses, which he expected Herb to pay back,” Sapkin said in his eulogy. “Herb worked every summer. Upon his graduation, Dave showed him the list of expenses — and rewarded his son by tearing up the ledger as a graduation present.”
Mr. Cook married Gloria Melnick, whom he met on the Park Hill Golf Course, in 1947. The couple had three daughters. Mrs. Cook passed away in 1996.
Immediately following his father’s death in 1951, Herb Cook assumed the reigns of Dave Cook Sporting Goods. He was 27. “While this was an enormous responsibility, his upbringing provided the necessary tools to take on this challenge and thrive,” Sapkin said.
In 1988, Mr. Cook sold the business to Thrift Corp., which merged Dave Cook Sporting Goods and Gart Bros. into Colorado’s largest sporting goods retailer.
He then started HC Companies and specialized in various investments, including real estate.
Active at Rose Hospital, National Jewish Hospital, Green Gables Country Club and Allied Jewish Federation, Mr. Cook inspired his family to adopt his model of service.
“As I stand here today, having reflected on Herb’s life, one of my regrets is that I didn’t meet him sooner; know him longer,” Sapkin said. “But one of the things Herb learned . . . and we are reminded of every time we gather to grieve the loss of a loved one, is not about the time we lost but rather the time we had together.”
Mr. Cook is survived by his wife Barbara Altman Cook; children Cindy (Steve) Farber, Debbie (Jimmy) Lustig and Shelly (Rick) Sapkin; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Contributions may be made to Rose Community Foundation or UCHealth Cancer Resource Center, 1665 Aurora Ct., Anschutz Cancer Pavilion, 2nd floor, Aurora, Colo. 80045.
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