Eric James, beloved husband of Louise and dear father of Tammy (Richard) Haywood of Vancouver and their children, Joshua, Bryson and Holly, Ian (Teri) McCook of Orlando, and their children Carlee and Eric, Lisa (Andrew) Corcoran of Kelowna, and their children Riley and Grace, and Brenda (Hamish) McKellar of Calgary, and their children Annalee and Maggie, passed away peacefully at home on October 22, 2011 after fighting an inspirational battle against stage 4 esophageal cancer for 18 months.
He is also survived by his mother Pearl and her husband Lorne Javens, his sister Carol (Klaas) Vandermeer and brother Mark McCook. He was predeceased by brother Robin Del and father Ian Hamish McCook.
Eric was born in Calgary, but lived in Elnora and Brooks before returning to Calgary in 1951. He attended Crescent Heights High School going on to attend and play football for Mount Royal College, where he enjoyed the football most. He then joined Squadron 403 of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He returned home to help his parents open McCook’s Grocery Store in Capitol Hill. The evenings would find him doing his homework and studying for the accounting and business courses he had enrolled in at University of Calgary. The long hours of a corner store, and continued love of sports led him to open McCook’s Sports at Brentwood Mall. He met Louise Settle in Young Peoples at Pleasant Heights United Church and they were married in 1965. The sporting goods business grew to eight stores before becoming Sportagon. Eric was a member of the board of the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Canada Mason Lodge No. 165, the Silver Springs Golf & Country Club and the Ranchmen’s Club. Eric joined the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in 1976 in Calgary, later transferring to the BC Chapter. In 1978 Eric acquired Olympic Sports in British Columbia to expand his chain to 27 stores, and moved his family to West Vancouver. In 1985, Eric ventured into land development and purchased a Real Estate business, building a gated community in Guildford – commercial projects, and homes in West Vancouver. In 1994 Eric and Louise retired to Shuswap Lake and Eric joined the Salmon Arm Rotary Club, and as he became more involved in this, he wished he had gotten involved in Rotary long before. Tiring of retirement, Eric & Louise built and operated Scotch Creek Cottages until a few years ago. He loved spending time between his homes in Calgary, Shuswap Lake, Wailea Maui and Mazatlan, Mexico.
Eric will be remembered as a charismatic man, generous both financially and in spirit, who valued honesty, integrity and reputation above all else. Always one to wear his heart on his sleeve, Eric was outspoken and passionate about many things. He was active in politics, a beloved Canucks fan, and Stampeder fan. Eric enjoyed reading (especially the newspaper), followed current events closely, and was a champion of education. He loved a great steak, political debate, a fine scotch and his grandchildren (not necessarily in that order). His determination was best demonstrated by his will to live, and his desire to meet his 10th grandchild, due to his daughter Brenda in December. In spite of his dire diagnosis, Eric pursued his dream of beating cancer with both conventional and alternative treatments. His kindness and positive spirit will be remembered by all who encountered him. Louise’s loving care allowed Eric his wish of remaining at home, and special thanks go to Louise’s father, Dr. Jack Settle, and Eric’s son in law, Hamish McKellar whose support to Louise was invaluable.
The family also wants to extend their thanks to friends and relatives, (too many to list) who have helped the family through the past 18 months. “We will miss you Dad.”
A celebration of life was held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S, Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB) on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to the Rotary Foundation through the Salmon Arm Rotary Club (Box 224, Salmon Arm, BC, V1E 4N3) or the Salvation Army. Memories and condolences can be forwarded through www.mcinnesandholloway.com.
In living memory of Eric McCook, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: 1-800-661-1599.