January 14, 2021

James E. Cook

James (Jim) E. Cook, 73, of Lincoln, NE, passed unexpectedly into eternal life on January 11, 2021.

Jim was born on October 20, 1947, in Lincoln, NE, to the late Joe and Dena Cook. As a boy, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. After his graduation from Lincoln Northeast High School in 1966, Jim earned a BA in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1970. The same year Jim joined the Army Reserves, retiring after 26 years with rank of First Sergeant; he was very proud of having served his country. Jim worked for Aliant Telecommunications (previously LT&T) before retiring after 32 years. Jim then earned an Executive MBA in 1999 from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Jim was a member of numerous organizations and groups throughout Lincoln, serving as president or treasurer on many of them.

Jim is survived by his spouse of 32 years, Connie Cook. Together they raised four children: Jason (Jessie) Cook of Lincoln, NE; Danielle (James) Hamlette of Lincoln NE; Brian (Mandy) Cook of Marysville, KS; and Brandie (Paul) Schmit of Winter Garden, FL. Jim is also survived by three grandchildren: Jada Buss, Lincoln; and Ian and Nathan Cook, Marysville, KS. Jim was preceded in death by his first wife, Linda Cook (née Schumacher), his brother, Roy, and sister-in-law, Marion Cook.

An avid reader and learner, Jim left his family dozens of subscriptions to magazines ranging from Billboard (dating back to the early 1960s) to National Geographic, and Rolling Stone to Diabetes Forecast to sift through and remember him by.

Jim took to rock and roll music at an early age; over the years he obtained an almost encyclopedic recall of Hot 100 chart toppers and novelty records dating back to the early 1950s.  As an adult he grew to enjoy country music.  Jim was a radio DJ in college, where he learned the importance of having an extensive record collection.  The near 1000 albums and CDs he left behind are a testament to his love of pop music. 

A loving and patient man, Jim was always willing to lend an ear and offer advice to his family and friends. Jim’s expertise ranged from finance to relationships, and parenting to everyday life. One of the last conversations Jim had with his family was about changes in filing income taxes, and he made it simple. He was nerdy like that, of which his pocket protector served as a daily reminder.

Above all, Jim was dedicated to and loved his family dearly. He took great pride in first watching his children play sports, sing, and march in the Lincoln Northeast High School Marching Band and later in seeing his grandchildren play, swim, perform on stage, and grow into mature and loving young adults.

A public viewing is scheduled for 9:00 AM with a service following at 10:30 AM on January 18 at New Hope United Methodist Church in Lincoln, NE. Interment will be at 1:30 PM at Fairview Cemetery at 84th and Adams in Lincoln. The service will be live streamed on the New Hope UMC Facebook page: Masks and social distancing are required. Memorials in Jim’s honor can be sent to New Hope United Methodist Church or the Lincoln Northeast High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

“Death is not the end of life, it is the gateway to eternity.” – Billy Graham


  1. Brandie and Paul, we are so sorry to hear about your Dad. Sounds like he was s great father and lived a very interesting life snd careers. Keep all of those memories in your heart. Hugs and prayers.

  2. Connie, and family, I am so sorry, and saddened that Jim has left so suddenly. He was an exceptional man: he welcomed the stranger, and was kind and gentle. I pray for you: peace and healing. I know your heartbreak….♥️Sharon Arganbright

  3. I remember Jim pondering thoughtfully before making comments especially about Nebraska football. I also think of Jim pondering and then grinning or a big laugh. I am so grateful to have known Jim for over 50 years and will miss his laugh.

  4. Sorry to learn of James death

    Served many years with him at the 3rd Bde

  5. Connie and family,

    It is hard to say goodbye to a life long friend. Our friendship started in his sandbox when we were two and living across the street from each other for seven years. When my family moved to another section of Lincoln we continued to be friends. We would meet downtown to go see every Disney film that came to Lincoln. Then walk to the Architecture department at U of N where his older brother would drive us home. Reconnecting at Northeast, our friendship continued as classmates. Over the years Jim, Connie and I have kept in touch either in Arizona or Lincoln. Our friendship was very special, sharing past and present memories. Jim was the best person you could ever have as a friend. He loved Connie and his family with all his heart. He was very proud of all of his children and grandchildren. When he would share all of their accomplishments with me he had a smile that never left his face. He had his “Jim-isms” but everyone knew his love and faith would prevail in the end. We will miss this remarkable person. Goodbye Jim, thanks for being my friend. Barb

  6. Sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Last time I saw him was an open house at Culler Jr High a few years back. He was the class president during his time there. We were in scouts together, again where he was a great leader.


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