Hundreds remember, celebrate life of pit bull victim
Michael Cook, 61, was a musician
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Members of the Tucson community celebrated the life of Michael Cook, the victim of a pit bull attack, during a memorial service Saturday afternoon at the Catalina Foothills Church, where the 61-year-old performed as a musician.
Michael Cook died from complications after a vicious mauling from his own dog – a pit bull mix – after several surgeries and weeks of unconsciousness.
For the hundreds of people who attended the service, it was fitting that lyrics celebrated the life of Cook whose joy, passion and influence was music. And just like a song, the life and personality of the bass guitarist and handyman were multifaceted.
Those who knew Cook best say he embodied a perfectionist drive towards music and a wicked sense of humor, as when a sheriff’s deputy once pulled the plug on the last song his band was playing.
“Mike was absolutely indignant. He went up to the cop and said, ‘How would you like it if somebody pulls the gun out of your holster?’” recalled Terry Lee, Cook’s close friend and band mate.
“He was always ready to make a joke and always ready to laugh – kind of that party attitude. He was always in a good, good attitude, just kind of a crazy guy,” Angela DeSoto, Cook’s niece.
However, Cook’s last few days were hard on him and his family not only because of the shock frokm the accident, but also the fact that his injuries and surgeries stemmed from the mauling of his own dog. Even in the hospital room, it was music that helped Cook cope.
“Mike was fighting the good fight. I think he was struggling and I think he was suffering, so it was very hard for me to see that. And I know that when I sing to him, I would see calm over him. It was a beautiful thing,” said Lil Lee, a close friend who sang to him during her multiple visits to his hospital bed.
Cook’s death has been the toughest on his two children. “My dad’s here with us now. That’s for sure. He’s here in all our hearts,” said Nicholas Cook.
“I think the blessings are evident. He’s brought so many people together and we all say this is part of God’s plan. We may not understand it, but you know ours is not to understand all the time,” Terry Lee said.
Cook didn't have life insurance and is survived by his two children. If you’d like to help Cook’s family, a fund has been set up at Wells Fargo under the “Mike Cook Donation Account.”
Or you can visit the website that has been dedicated to him.