Cover photo for Dr. Duane R. Cook's Obituary
Dr. Duane R. Cook Profile Photo
1929 Duane 2017

Dr. Duane R. Cook

June 3, 1929 — January 13, 2017

Duane grew up on a farm in north Louisiana during the Great Depression and World War II. The child of a mixed marriage—his father was a Baptist and his mother a Methodist—Duane landed on the Baptist side, and it took. Sometime when he was about 10 or 11 years-old, while chopping cotton, Duane felt God calling him to preach.

After graduating from Athens High School in 1947, he attended a year of business college in Monroe, Louisiana. But the call to Christian ministry persisted. So in late 1948 Duane left home and headed to Oklahoma City to help his cousin, W.E. Cook, who was the pastor at Downtown Baptist Church. While helping with the church Duane used his business training to land a job at Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company.

At that same time an attractive young woman named Stella Daniel was finishing her degree at Central High School in downtown Oklahoma City. She and her family were also members of Downtown Baptist Church. According to Stella, Duane invited her best friend to accompany him to a youth event at the church, but by the end of the evening he drove Stella home. And on May 6, 1949, they were married.

The call of God to preach continued, and in 1949 Duane surrendered his life to the ministry of the Word. He began taking classes at Oklahoma City University while continuing to work. He also joined the National Guard, 45th Infantry Division in Oklahoma City.

In 1951 the 45th was activated and sent to duty in Korea. Duane served as a Master Sargent in Korea from November 1951 until April 1952, as David Halberstam termed it, The Coldest Winter. As Duane was sailing from Japan to the Korean war, his son, Gary, was born on November 8, 1951.

When Duane returned from Korea he accepted a call to pastor Calvary Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, and continued his studies at The University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Letters. While all this was going on, Stella bore their second child, Patricia, whose birthday was January 6, 1954.

(As an aside, one may trace Duane’s passion for Sooner athletics, especially football, to this Bud Wilkinson era of The Streak and National Championships. I don’t think he ever forgave The Irish.)

Upon graduating OU, Duane moved the family to Fort Worth, Texas, to begin his ministry training at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He worked full-time at GE and at Bell Helicopter while attending seminary part-time. Stella and Duane’s third child, Debra, was born on September 8, 1955 in Fort Worth.

After two years in Texas, Duane accepted a call to pastor Yuba Baptist Church in southern Oklahoma. While there, he continued seminary part-time. Leaving Stella and the children at home in Yuba, he commuted to Fort Worth on Monday mornings and back to Yuba on Thursday evenings. He also began preaching revivals at other churches during this time. His studies were often interrupted by events and the need to be home.

In 1960, Morris Memorial Baptist Church in Latta, Oklahoma called Duane as their pastor. After a brief ministry there, Duane accepted a call from Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in Oklahoma City in 1961.

In 1962, after years as a part-time, commuter student, Duane completed his studies at Southwestern, and graduated in December with his Bachelor of Divinity degree.

First Baptist Church of Wynnewood, Oklahoma came calling in 1965, and Duane accepted. Duane served that congregation while two of his children finished high school, but in 1972 he moved to First Baptist Church, Wewoka.

Duane served at the Wewoka church until 1976, at which time he was hired as the Director of Missions for Central Baptist Association in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. While serving as the Director of Missions, Duane also served as the Director of Children’s Camp at Falls Creek for several years and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary. In 1995, Duane retired as Director of Missions, and he and Stella moved to Norman, Oklahoma to be closer to their children.

The call to preach and minister, however, continued to compel him. He entered training to serve as an Intentional Interim Minister to help churches without pastors heal their wounds and seek new pastors. Duane served intentional interims in churches in Atwood, Meridian Avenue in Oklahoma City, Brookhaven in Norman, Wetumka (twice), and Vici.

When Duane was 72, he retired from interim ministries and became an active member at Bethel Baptist Church in Norman. The call to preach became a call to teach, and Duane taught an adult Sunday School class at Bethel until his passing.

Duane and Stella were married 68 years, all in God’s service.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Family will received friends from 3:00PM - 5:00PM

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Funeral Service

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Family will receive friends from 3:00PM - 5:00PM

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