Sallie Cook

Birth Date: 
Sunday, November 9, 1941
Date of Passing: 
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sallie Cook, a no-nonsense former newspaper reporter and community leader, died Wednesday in Wooster after a long illness. She was 76.

A retired courts, cops and government correspondent for the Akron Beacon-Journal, Sallie was a tenacious, good-humored, bridge-playing Democrat whose upbeat personality and likeability made her a civic and journalistic force.

She loved a good story, as a reporter and reader, and made a habit of consuming news at nearly every turn, knowing how a free press played a critical role in a functioning democracy.  

Sallie was also active politically and in the community, once running for Wooster City Council and losing narrowly in a city-wide general election after winning the primary. She was also president of the League of Women Voters, served as Chairman of the Wayne County Planning Commission, represented Wayne County on the Regional Planning Commission; served on the state of Ohio Agricultural Extension Service Advisory Committee, worked on non-profit boards (most recently OneEighty, a womens and community health system). Throughout her life and recently after her journalism career, Sallie canvassed and phone-banked for political candidates.

In 2016, Sallie was honored at the annual Jackson Day Dinner with the Democratic party's Old Hickory Award, with The Daily Record writing at the time that "there's hardly an area Democratic candidate for office who doesn't owe something of a debt to Sallie Cook."

Sallie's civic engagement extended beyond politics, and in 2007 she was honored with the Wayne County Women's Network's annual Athena Award. In the Mayoral proclamation announcing the honor, Sallie was called out as a "model for business and professional women, having forged her way as a reporter in a male-dominated profession at a large daily newspaper, while at the same time, remaining deeply involved in her community."

Among the achievements recognized:

  • Director of the Community Action Commission of Wayne County.

  • President of Wooster Junior Women's Club.

  • Member of the Wooster Senior Citizens Commission

  • Vice president of the Wooster Booster Club.

  • Board member and officer of Every Woman's House and STEPS.

  • Board member of Wooster United Way.

  • Member and church council secretary of Wooster United Methodist Church

In 1994, Sallie was recognized for her support of the Wooster High School soccer program, which she helped get off the ground 40 years ago. She rarely missed a match when her three sons competed on teams in the 1980s and 1990s, and she cheered with enthusiasm last Saturday as they competed at the 40th annual alumni soccer game.

Sallie D. Cook was born as Sallie Dicke on Nov. 9, 1941 in Lima, Ohio.

Her father, Vernon Dicke, was a farmer in western Ohio and her mom, Anne Dicke, was a social worker. The family later moved to Findlay, Ohio, where Vernon bought an insurance agency. Sallie attended Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating with a degree in political science in 1963. She was a proud member of the Delta Gamma sorority, returning to the campus for her 55th reunion this summer, helping to serve as fundraising chair.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Roger Cook, former owner of Harold Cook Inc., an automobile and truck dealership and founder of Cook Financial Planning; in addition to her three sons, GeekWire co-founder and publisher John Cook of Seattle; UPS pilot Dan Cook of Cornelius, N.C.;  and Dave Cook co-owner and principal geologist of Aspect Consulting in Seattle; as well as her brother David Dicke of Texas and three grandchildren, Carter, Jane and James.

Calling hours are scheduled for Monday, August 13th at McIntire, Bradham & Sleek funeral home in Wooster, Ohio from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a memorial service planned at The United Methodist Church in Wooster on Tuesday, August 14th at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to OneEighty, a non-profit that supports victims of domestic violence, those suffering with substance abuse and other community programs. Donations can be sent to 104 Spink Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691.

An additional obituary appeared on GeekWire at:

Online condolences may be left for the family at


Memorial Contributions: 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to OneEighty, a non-profit that supports victims of domestic violence, those suffering with substance abuse and other community programs. Donations can be sent to 104 Spink Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691.


Monday from 6-8 pm at the funeral home


Tuesday, August 14th at 11 a.m. at The Wooster United Methodist Church


I was absolutely shocked to read of Sallie's passing. Dear family, please accept my sincere condolences. I became friends with Sallie while serving on the Friends & Neighbors of Every Woman's House Board. Her 'bubbly, always-smiling personality along with her service to community and mankind will be her legacy. She will be missed.

Dear Cook Family,
I was deeply saddened to hear of Sallie's passing. What a remarkable woman we have lost in the Wooster community. She always had a kind word for me; a note of encouragement and sent me flowers after a speech I made. May peace in memories find you during this difficult time. God bless....

My thoughts and condolences to the Cook family. I am so sorry for your loss. Sallie was an amaing woman, friend, mother and mentor. She will be missed.

A profound loss for family and community. Thoughts are with family, she was very diligent with activities, family and long time friends. Hoping for peace and recovery for her loss.

Sallie was a influential presence in my life and the life of our community for many years. Her contributions will touch the lives of many for years to come. But my sincere sympathy is with Roger and Sallie’s wonderful boys, their spouses, and grandchildren. What a gift she was to all who are lucky enough to have known her.

I am saddened to hear this, Sally was an amazing women who raised some great men who I call friends. Mr. Cook, Dave, Dan and John prayers for your comfort

Sallie was such a great role model and mentor to many women like me. I got to know her through the League of Women Voters many, many years ago and her wit and humor and perspective were all things I adored about her. She recently emailed her suggestions on how to edit a potential letter to the editor from the League that is still unwritten. S She was a steadfast supporter of women and women's rights, a strong advocate for Planned Parenthood. My sympathy to the family and to her many, many friends.

I met Sally two years ago through The League of Women Voters. She immediately made me feel welcome, and put me to work.
I will miss her bright smile, her encouragement, and her inspiration. Family, may beautiful memories bring you comfort and peace.

Dear Family: After just returning to Findlay after a weekend trip I was deeply saddened to read about Sally’s death in The Courier. What a nice obituary and a fitting tribute to her many accomplishments. Of course it takes me back to growing up here. I often think of Sally when I pass by Ohio Wesleyan University, which she dearly loved. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes to all - Ron Pfeiffer

I was saddened to hear the news. Thank you Sallie Cooke for being such a "champion" for the Wooster High School soccer team! Roger, David, Dan & John, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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