He was born September 18, 1927 in Boligee, Alabama to the late Nathaniel Green & Mattie Patricia Johnson Cook. At the age of thirteen, he relocated to Benham, Kentucky where he joined his father and step-mother, Ruth Viola Cook. William attended the East Benham Colored School. He had dreams of becoming a carpenter, but left school after his junior year to work for International Harvester Mining Company. He held several positions throughout his thirty-three years of employment before retiring. Babe Ray was known as the “Firecracker” man, where he sold fireworks from a shed in his backyard. He was known as a master gardener, maintaining several gardens throughout the mountain area. He was generous to others by giving away many of the vegetables that he grew.
William is preceded in death by both his biological and step-parents, sister, Mattie Caston, brothers, Thomas Johnson, Nathaniel Cook, and Adam J. Cook, son, William Cook, JR, daughter, Yvette Morris and step-son, Markell Petygrue.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Kaye Cook of Lynch, KY, four daughters, Eleanor Edwards of Redford, Michigan, Deborah Daniels of Chicago, Illinois, Jacquelynn (Desni) Brannon of Evansville, Indiana, Rochelle Lee of Lynch, Kentucky, five sons, Jacque Cook of Benham, Kentucky, Johnnye (Tammy) Cook of Middlesboro, KY, James (Rose) Cook of Winchester, KY, Victor Cook of Richmond, KY, Curtis (Linda) Cook of Lynch, KY, sister, Bobbie Sawyers of Flint, Michigan, in-laws, Nannie Marshall, Ernest, Yvonne, Thomas, Howard, Sheila, Carolyn, Alberta, Hazel, Garnzel, Albert, & Sally, a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Friday, April 20, 2012, at 12 noon at the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Lynch with Funeral Services following at 1 p.m. with Rev. Ronnie Hampton officiating.
Burial will follow in the D.L. Creech Cemetery in Cumberland, KY. Pallbearers will be family and friends and Honorary Pallbearers will be Grandsons.
Johnson Funeral Home Lynch, Kentucky is Entrusted with Arrangements.