COOK, DON MICHAEL " MAD DOG" (VETERAN) - Adair County, Missouri | DON MICHAEL " MAD DOG" (VETERAN) COOK - Missouri Gravestone Photos

Don Michael " Mad Dog" (Veteran) COOK

Maple Hills Cemetery
Adair County,

October 16, 1937 - November 10, 2013

Posted Nov. 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM

"Quickest man in the world" and Kirksville Native dies at 76.

Don M. "Mad Dog" Cook, originally born in Kirksville on October 16, 1937, but long-time resident of Lake Dallas, Texas, passed away at 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, November 10th, 2013 after being first taken by ambulance to NE MO Regional Hospital then transferred to University Hospital in Columbia. He suffered heart failure while enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: target shooting at the family property in rural Kirksville where he was visiting.

He received the title of "quickest man in the world" early in his drag racing career, when his Mother, Eunice Cook of Kirksville received a telephone call from the president of the American Hot Rod Association to inform her that Cook had just been the first person ever recorded to officially exceed the speed of 230 mph on a quarter mile drag racing track. Don loved drag racing and raced on the professional circuit for more than 10 years. He was inducted into the Don Garlits' Drag Racing Hall of Fame Museum in Ocala, Florida in 2003.

After retiring from racing, Don settled with his wife, Sheila in Lake Dallas, Texas where he opened a custom welding and metal fabricating shop. He continued to make specialized parts and give advice to professional drag racers all his working years.

He is survived by his immediate family: wife, Sheila Daniel of Lake Dallas, Texas; three daughters, Dr. Maria Evans of rural Kirksville, Michael Anne (Daniel) Harris of Corinth, Texas and Shelly (Steve) Poletti of Lodi, California; one brother, Jon (Marsha) Cook of rural Kirksville; one sister, Patty (John) Shockey of rural Kirksville; grandchildren, Sydney Harris and Jarod Poletti; sister-in-law, Jana (Garry) McClendon of Cleburne, Texas; brother-in-law, Dennis Daniel of Midland, Texas and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by one sister, Merry Lynn Lyle in 2003 and both parents, Ezra and Eunice Cook. He is also survived by two old and long-time friends in the Kirksville area, Frank Lonberger and Bill "Buck" Charles. He is also survived by his much loved English Setter quail hunting dog Katy Jo.

Don's request was to be cremated. A family celebration of Don's life was held for family and close friends at the family home near Thousand Hills State Park west of Kirksville on Monday, November 11. A service is also planned to be held in Lake Dallas, Texas at a date not yet determined.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to English Setter Rescue at or Last Chance Horse Rescue at or a charity of your choice.

Don had saved the cremated ashes of one of his favorite quail hunting dogs, an English setter he named Sarah Sue, after her passing. His request was that after his death he was to be cremated, and his ashes, along with those of Sarah Sue, were to be spread over his favorite quail hunting ground in west Texas. His family intends for that wish to be fulfilled.

Photo contributed by Larry and Susan Olson

Contributed on 2/27/16 by hawkinsdonna48
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Record #: 788166

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Submitted: 2/27/16 • Approved: 2/27/16 • Last Updated: 2/27/16 • R788166-G0

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