John V. Cookman


John V. (Jack) Cookman, 95, of Mason City, died Jan. 26, 2024, at Mercy One, Mason City, with his family by his side.

He was born in Mason City on Sept. 26, 1928, to parents Victor and Alice Cookman.

At the tender age of six he contracted bulbar polio and was paralyzed on the entire right side of his body with some of the effects of the disease remaining the entirety of his life.  However, because of his strength, determination, love of sports, and desire to keep up with his older brother, Joe, he overcame the paralysis.  In high school he became an outstanding athlete.  Jack excelled in three sports at Mason City High School.  He was a two-year letter winner in football and basketball, and three year letter winner in baseball, which was his first love.  His junior year, he completed a pitching record of 16-1 and won two State tournament games as the Mohawks won the State championship.  Jack’s senior year, the Mohawks were State tournament runner-up.  Soon after graduation he was approached by a scout from the New York Yankees baseball team, he signed a contract to ball and played in their farm league for three years.

After his baseball career, Jack stayed in Cedar Rapids where he owned and operated an industrial security business.  He moved back home to Mason City and became a member of the Mason City Police Department in the parking enforcement division. 

In 2018, Jack was inducted into the Mason City High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jack is survived by his granddaughters, Renee Farah, Tammy Schladetzke; great-grandson, Zachery Schladetzky, and his family, all of Cedar Rapids; sisters, Anne Staley, Dorothy Hepperly, of Mason City, Mary Helen (Doug) Meyers, of Clear Lake, and Bette Luddeman, of Cedar Rapids; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Alice Cookman; brother and sister-in-law, Harry Joseph and Lucille Cookman, and their grandson, J.J. Pals; Jack’s wife, Mary Abodeely; Jack’s second wife, Marjorie Bobek; stepdaughter, Barbara Farah-Ryan; brothers-in-law, Robert Staley and Gary Hepperly; and good friend, Jean Heinz.

Funeral services and burial will be at Cedar Memorial in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 11 a.m. with visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral.

A celebration of life for Jack is being planned for his Mason City family and friends for a later time.


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

12 N. 4th St.
Clear Lake, IA 50428
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