The Board and members of The Hundred Year Association were deeply saddened in June to learn of the passing of Chairman Richard A. Cook after a long illness. Dick served the Association for 36 years, transitioning it into a professionally run organization with ambitious outreach, recognition and awards programs.
Mr. Cook became affiliated with the Association in 1971 when he was elected treasurer as a collateral duty as a senior officer with the East River Savings Bank. In 1982 he was elected President. East River administered the Association as part of its public affairs program through 1993 when the bank reorganized. When the Association became independently operated, Mr. Cook continued as president until his election as chairman in 2004.
During his term Dick expanded the awards program to include corporate sponsorship, ultimately distributing more than $1.3 million to over 850 career New York City employees and college scholarships to their sons and daughters.
Mr. Cook initiated many programs that raised the profile of the Association including in 2002, a three-month long exhibition at the New-York Historical Society called “Family Matters: Century-Old New York City Businesses” which received wide critical acclaim.
Dick was born in Cooperstown, NY and played center on his Amherst College football team. He attained the rank of Senior Vice-President at the East River Savings Bank. In addition to The Hundred Year Association, Mr. Cook was active as a director of The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey, Oratorio Society of New York and the Life Savings Benevolent Association of New York.
Remembrances may be sent to The Hundred Year Association in Mr. Cook’s honor.
Kind Words for a Dear Friend
“Richard was a true “Gentleman” and it was our pleasure to have known him.”
Lisa Golowach, Rosenwach Tank Co.
“My condolences and those of the entire Hotel Wales family to you and Dick’s family. It was a pleasure knowing him.”
Andrew Labetti, The Hotel Wales
“Dick was such a spirited champion of recognizing public service, through his commitment to The Hundred Year Association programs and on a personal basis. We have lost a very, very dear friend.”
Martha Hirst, Commissioner, Department of Citywide Administrative Services
“He was a special and gentle man, enormously bright and interested and interesting, generous of spirit, and he will live in my heart, always.”
Robert Wertheimer, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
“Mr. Cook was loved and will be missed by many.”
Cathy Acquavella, Modell’s Sporting Goods
“Dick personified the mission and spirit behind The Hundred Year Association. No one could have worked harder on behalf of the Association and his commitment to the scholarship program for sons and daughters of NYC employees was unbounded. He was always a pleasure to work with and we’ll all miss him.”
Robert Douglass, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy