Rodney Carlos Cook

cook rodney carlos

Rodney Carlos Cook, 80, of Pulaski passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 after a year-long battle with cancer. He was born August 6, 1943, in Pulaski, to Willie and Elsie Cook.  He was a graduate of Pulaski High School Class of 1961, where he served as class president.  After attending VPI (Virginia Tech) for 3 ½ years, he joined the U. S. Army in 1964.  After completing basic training at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, he became a member of White House Communications stationed at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland, under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.  Rodney had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii, England and Belgium, as well as to the Johnson Ranch in Texas and Nixon’s “Southern White House” in Florida.  He received an honorable discharge in 1969.


Rodney met his wife Susan while stationed in Maryland.  After marrying, they settled in Pulaski and raised three beautiful, caring children. He worked at Radva Plastics in Radford for five years and then opened a Tastee-Freeze restaurant in Fairlawn, where he prided himself on serving fresh burgers with homegrown tomatoes.  After completing remodeling work on his home, he decided to become a building contractor with the assistance of his favorite uncle and mentor, Delmer “Monk” Guynn, building many houses and helping homeowners with renovations and projects.  He later worked for and retired from Volvo Trucks North America maintenance department.  After his children finished college, Rodney fulfilled a life-long dream of purchasing a small farm in the county and began raising cattle.  He relished his retirement as a farmer, spending happy days caring for his cows while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.


Rodney was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Pulaski, where he served as a choir member, lay reader, youth group leader and Sunday school teacher.  He had a love for gardening and took pride in the fresh vegetables he grew.  Rodney enjoyed hiking, biking, camping and beach trips with his family.  He loved music and was an avid bluegrass fan, who passed this appreciation on to his children by taking them to local concerts whenever possible.  Rodney was a good friend and neighbor to everyone he met.  He had a genuine, friendly personality and never met a stranger.  Rodney always shared a smile and a laugh, and his passion for living was infectious.


During his final days, his family worked tirelessly so he could rest comfortably in his home.  The family would like to thank the Reverend Steve Weston and Jesse Cantelope for their assistance and comforting fellowship, as well as his wonderful hospice nurses for their expertise and care.

Rodney was preceded in death by his parents, Willie Carlos and Elsie Dalton Cook.  He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Susan Glovier Cook; children, Stephanie C. Krafft (Chris) of Fort Mill, South Carolina, Bryan T. Cook of Pulaski, and Meredith C. Novak of Salem, Virginia.  He is also survived by 7 grandsons:  Malcolm, Sam and Elliott Krafft, Gavin and Mason Cook, and Jack and Chase Novak; his sister, Patsy C. Ashley (Kenneth, Sr.) of Newport News as well as nephews, Kenneth Ashley, Jr. (Kelly) and David Ashley (Christie), great nephew, K. Carter Ashley, III and great niece, Ava Grace Ashley.  He is also survived by his beloved pets, Kirby (German Shepherd) and Harper (black kitty).  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Episcopal Church.

There will be a Celebration of Life service with Holy Eucharist at Christ Episcopal Church, 144 N. Washington Ave, Pulaski on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2pm.  Following the service, the family will receive guests during a visitation and reception in the church Parish Hall.


Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting  Arrangements by Seagle Funeral Home, Pulaski.  540-980-1700