Taylor Samuelson Cook blessed this world on February 24, 1976, greeting his big brothers Jason and Brian and parents John and Nancy. He left all too soon on April 10, 2006, but his thirty years with the many who loved him were both a gift and a celebration of a life of humor, loyalty, courage and integrity. No words can describe how much he will be missed.
Taylor was born at UCLA Medical Center and at the age of three, moved with his family to Billings. He attended Poly Drive Elementary, Lewis and Clark Jr. High and Senior High (class of 1994). He was both a bright mind and a playful spirit. He loved to write and to learn, but also loved to run, play football and hockey and to ski with his beloved brothers. Taylor graduated with Honors from the Cox Business School at SMU in 1998, majoring in Finance. Although he loved his Texas experience and friendships forged there, he simply could not wait to return to Montana. Taylor graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 2001 and returned to Billings to begin a clerkship for the Honorable Judge Richard Cebull, a two-year position he cherished. At this time he met, and later married his beloved wife Amber Alois Rau at Big Sky Chapel in August of 2004. Following his clerkship, he practiced law at the Edwards Law Firm.
Taylor is survived by his wife, Amber; brother Jason and his wife Robin and niece and nephew Lauren and Jack; his eternally loving parents John and Nancy Cook; grandparents, Ruth Ann Samuelson and John and Vivyan Cook; mother and father-in-law Dana and Madonna Rau and their children Terry (Monica, Austin and Erin), Lindsey and Christopher. He is also survived by numerous aunts and uncles (Karen Wallis (Henry); Trudy Moore; Ken Cook (Vicki); Jerry Cook (Barbra) and was blessed by his cousins, Andy and Matt Moore, Melanie Rayburn (Scott), Lisa Wallis, Laura Judd (Jasen), Mike Wallis (Kim), Kate Cook (Graham Hawkins), Drew Cook (Heather Mills), Sara Cook (Craig) and Andy Cook. He is also survived by his naughty and frolicking black Lab, Molly and by an entourage of longtime and loyal friends.
None valued relationships or friendships more than Taylor, and it is with great sadness that he will not grow old with those who mattered so very much to him. Please honor him by never wasting a moment or a relationship, by loving dearly and well those near to you, by learning and giving to others and by most of all, by being gentle with yourself. Life is short and it is precious. Many people mattered to Taylor and he remembered and loved them all. Thanks especially go to those who stood by and with him as he battled this past year with depression, an adversary that ultimately claimed Taylor’s life. Although the weight of his absence is incalculable, his faith allows him to be at peace, and so are we.
Visitation will begin at 4 P.M. Thursday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Services for family and friends will be held at 2 P.M. Friday, April 14 at King of Glory Lutheran Church. Graveside services at Mountview Cemetery will immediately follow. Taylor will be buried beside his brother, Brian Nicholas Cook, who preceded him in death in September of 1995. His cherished grandfather, Henry George Samuelson, also precedes him in death. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Cook Memorial Scholarship at Billings Senior High, King of Glory Lutheran Church, St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation or to one’s charity of choice.
Go with God, our beloved Taylor. We are honored, inspired and blessed by your presence among us. It was far too short.