Gerald (Jed) Worlton Cook, legendary cowboy, musician and storyteller of Ibapah (Deep Creek), Utah, was called home in the early morning hours of July 11, 2017, in Tooele, Utah. Jed was born to William and Audrey Cook on Sept. 16, 1918. He told people he was born in Lehi, Utah, but after he had his first bowel movement they moved to Deep Creek, and he’s lived there ever since.
Gerald’s father died when he was just 9 years old. As a boy he soon earned the reputation of a bronc rider and horse breaker.
His family were renowned musicians, as well, playing for many local Deep Creek dances. He taught himself how to play the “mouth organ,” accordion, and piano without ever learning to read a note. He played his accordion for many funerals throughout his lifetime.
He rode his horse to school every day until the 9th grade, when he moved to Tooele for a short time. Ninth grade was the end of his formal education.
He loved the south mountains of the Deep Creek range where he helped his brother, Les, herd 1,500-3,000 head of sheep.
As a teenager, he had a team of horses and helped people hay their fields, hauled 50-gallon oil drums up the mountain to the Cinnabar Mine, and dragged logs from Durst, Eight-Mile and Kelley canyons for a sawmill. He herded sheep, sheared sheep, lambed sheep, rode colts, punched cows, dragged ditch, threshed grain, rode derrick horses, worked a Jackson Fork and always traded horses.
In 1940, he went to work with the survey crew as they began to survey what would be known as the Wendover Air Force Base where he lived in his brother Les’ sheep camp.
He married Joyce Chloe Parrish on June 17, 1950. She was the daughter of Wade and Chloe Parrish, local sheep ranchers of Ibapah.
In 1962, Gerald and Joyce purchased the Arthur Kelley ranch. They raised cows, sheep, horses, and kids. He was proud that his children were accomplished horsemen, helping with his cattle operation and traveling throughout Utah and Nevada to many horse shows and rodeos. He owned good registered horses, and in later years, he rode and loved his mules. He branded his stock with his granddad Weaver’s brand, the 96.
Joyce died on Jan. 14, 1994, and, while it broke his heart, he continued on without her. He rode horses until he was 94 years of age, when he rode in the National Pony Express re-ride for the last time. He was known for his wit, sense of humor and spunk. He loved to tell stories and has been compared to Will Rogers. Many of these stories are shared in the book “Jed,” written and recently published by his daughter, Marilyn.
He is survived by his four children: Joycelyn Halstead of Ibapah, Utah; Marilyn (Pie) Linares of Ibapah, Utah; David (Evelyn) of Wendover, Nevada; and Dr. Les (Stefany) of Houghton, Michigan; 10 grandchildren: Danalynn Halstead Hutchinson, Dana Cook Brodsho, Haley Linares, Darby Linares Gebauer, Echo Halstead Marich, Emily Cook Dalton, Ethan Cook, Will Linares, Cole Cook and Adison Cook; and nine great-grandchildren. Jed was preceded in death by his parents, brother Les, and sisters Mildred Cook and Mary Littledyke.
A visitation will be held Friday, July 14, 2017, from 5-7 p.m. at Tate Mortuary, 110 S. Main, Tooele, Utah. A private Masonic service will be held at 4 p.m., prior to visitation. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2017, under the trees at the Bateman/Parrish Ranch in Ibapah at noon, with visitation at 11 a.m. Interment at Deep Creek Cemetery with luncheon to follow.
A very special note of thanks to Rocky Mountain Care, Willow Springs, for their loving care of our father in his last three weeks of life.