RIchard Lee Cook, Age :86

Oct 30,1934---Nov 14,2020

Richard Lee Cook, dedicated husband, father, sculptor, art educator, small business owner, and inspiring creative died peacefully on Saturday November 14, 2020.


Richard was born to Kirby Cook and Margie McNeil on October 30th 1934 in Big Springs Texas. He was loved by all that knew him for his warm disposition, sense of humor, and unique perspective on life. He challenged the status quo in every situation he encountered and sought to make the world a better place for everyone. Richard maximized his human potential through incredible work ethic and discipline. None is more evident than his educational experience. As a thirty-five-year-old “non-traditional” college student, he persevered for 12 years to earn his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Art from the University of New Mexico.  


He was a gracious man who offered life-changing advice. Phrases like “a good way to break a catch twenty two… is to flood it with energy” or “it’s never to late to get a college education… you’re going to be a year older anyway” are just a couple examples of his heart-warming philosophy embedded in the hearts and minds of his children and students. He loved dancing, Texas swing music, deep conversations, a good joke, a good hat, Louisiana hot sauce, biscuits n gravy, a good cup of coffee, and above all his family.  


Even in his sunset years you wouldn’t find Richard perched in a lawn chair staring into the sunset. He remained busy working in his shop (to the music of Bob Wills), building sculptures, or contemplating creative designs and inventions. From the 1950s to 2020 Richard worked as master mechanic in the Air Force, Lab Technician at Sandia Labs, Chair of the Arts Department at Nicholls State University, Director of Hills Gallery in Santa Fe, Head of the Artist-in-Residence program for the State of New Mexico, owner of Rio Madera Woodworks, Chair of the Art Department at College of Santa Fe, and Sculptor/Visual Artist.


He is is preceded in death by his parents Kirby Cook and Margie McNeil, sister Margaret Rainey, and brothers Fred Cook, Ronnie Cook, Sam McNeil, and favorite dog Flash. Richard is survived by his wife Lorraine Cook; his five children Robert Cook, Jeanne Benta, Gary Cook, Julie Cook and Shari Cook; grandchildren Stacy Catanach, Krista Martinez, Jessica Cook, Sarah Cook (Zoey), Sean Cook. and Ryan Cook; great grandchildren Mariah Baca-Catanach, Nicole Gonzales, Andrew Bigbie, Marcus Bigbie, Ezra Duron; loving sister Deborah Cook-Bentley, close Uncles Rufus (Fern), and Louis (Pat); pet Teddy, and many more relatives, friends, students and artists in the community. 


Richard will be remembered as a truly unique and incredible human being.


Arrangements entrusted to:

Riverside Funeral Home of Albuquerque

225 San Mateo Blvd. NE

(505) 764-9663