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Valpo Remembers

Addison Gilbert “Gil” Cook

Fall 2022

Addison Gilbert Cook went home to be with the Lord on July 8, 2022, at age 89 in Valparaiso, Indiana. Professor Cook was born on April 1, 1933, in Caracas, Venezuela, to missionary parents Harold R. and Florence (Hosie) Cook. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Nancy (Spriggs) Cook; a brother, Harold D. (Liz) Cook; three daughters, Virginia (Ted) Kundrat, Shirley (Roy) Bodett, and Diane (Larry) Holder; and six grandchildren, Sarah, Erick (Christin), Norah, Lauren, Abigail, and Ryan. Cook grew up in Los Angeles, California, and in Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a bachelor of science in chemistry from Wheaton College (Illinois) in 1955, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign in 1959. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Professor Cook was a brilliant professor of chemistry for nearly 60 years at Valparaiso University, where he served as department chair and as the premedical arts advisor to hundreds of medical doctors and dentists who now thank him for their careers. He wrote wonderful recommendation letters for students who went on to earn their Ph.D.s and follow in his esteemed footsteps. In 1993, he received the Valparaiso University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award and is regarded by Valpo alumni as one of their most beloved professors who helped them find their path to success. Professor Cook was a gifted person who saw potential in his students before they recognized it in themselves.

Professor Cook had many honors bestowed upon him, including the American Institute of Chemists Award, Standard Oil Company Scholarship, Monsanto Fellowship, Lilly Fellowship, National Science Foundation Grant, and GTE Grants for the PRISMS Program. He was also a member of Phi Lambda Upsilon (chemistry), Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics), and Sigma Xi (research) honor societies.

Professor Cook is the author of many publications in professional journals such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society, The Journal of Organic Chemistry, and Journal of Nuclear and Inorganic Chemistry. He also edited the text “Enamines: Synthesis, Structure, and Reactions,” one of three authoritative sources on enamine chemistry.

Professor Cook served as a consultant to Argonne National Laboratories from 1962–1971. His research interests included physical and synthetic organic chemistry, especially enamines, amines, and organophosphorus compounds.

An active member of Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton, Indiana, Professor Cook served in numerous roles. He was an adult Sunday School teacher and small group Bible study leader, and he served as a member and chair of the elder board for a number of terms.

Aside from serving as a mentor and friend to many, Professor Cook and his wife, Nancy, enjoyed spending time with family and friends, going to concerts, biking, camping, and watching great old television shows and movies. He will be dearly missed.

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