Deacon Chester O. Cook

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. — Deacon Chester 0. Cook, 78, of Provincetown, passed away October 12 at Seashore Point Wellness and Rehabilitation Center. He was the son of the late Manuel G. Cook and the late Nellie G. (Smith) Perry. 

Cook leaves behind his wife, Catherine Gavigan; his daughter, Cynthia Travers and her husband, Mark; his son, Chester and wife Shari and their two children, Sydney and Jared; two sisters, Beverley Ferreira and Toni Little, a brother, Jimmy and his wife Ruth; two grandchildren, Layla and Chet, who were his heartbeat and his spirit; several nieces and nephews, Tracey Rose and her husband Leo; Kevin Ferreira; Dawn Henrique and her husband Richard; Carolyn Henry and her husband Jim; David Souza and his wife Diane; Joseph Carreiro and his wife Bette; Joyce Carreiro, several great-nephews and nieces; and many, many cousins in the large Cook Family. He was predeceased by his sisters Eva Carreiro, Helen Grace and Yvonne Souza. 

On March 28,1938, Cook was born in his Grandmother Smith’s house at 11A Conwell Street in Provincetown, and educated in Center School, Governor Bradford School and Provincetown High School, from which he graduated as president of the Class of 1955. He attended Boston College until June of 1957 when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. 

He served three years as communications chief in Headquarters Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, Force Troops, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Upon his honorable discharge as an acting corporal, he settled down in New York, living in each borough except Staten Island. He worked for Trans World Airlines at the height of the growing airlines industry expansion. He loved Broadway musicals and frequented the theater district almost daily. 

While living and working in New York, Chester met and fell in love with his wife-to-be, the lovely Catherine Angela Gavigan. 

He worked for Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. (later to be Grumman Aerospace) and directed the electrical work on the Lunar Modules, in particular, the one that saved the astronauts’ lives, Apollo 11. 

He left Grumman and went to work for the FAA as an air traffic controller at McArthur Airport in Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y. 

Cook worked as manager of Cook’s Chick ‘N’ Beef Restaurant, one of a series of eight facilities owned and operated by his brother, Jimmy. In 1971 they moved back to Provincetown where Cook worked for New England Telephone as a Central Office Repairman. Laid off in 1975, he got a temporary job with an independent telephone company in Maine. He later got a job with Fairchild Semiconductor in South Portland as an equipment engineer. 

While in Maine, Chester finished college with a B.S. in Industrial Technology, summa cum laude, from the University of Southern Maine. After 12 years in Maine (which Cook dearly loved), they moved back to Provincetown and he worked at John’s Foot Long Hot Dogs. After several years at John’s, Chester and Catherine opened their own restaurant, The Fisherman’s Tail in Truro. He then went to work for Outer Cape Health Services, first in the billing department, then at the front desk in Provincetown. After about eight years, he retired due to declining health. 

While working at John’s, Chester applied for and was granted entrance to the Permanent Diaconate Program for the Diocese of Fall River. He was ordained a permanent deacon by then Bishop (now Cardinal Archbishop) Sean O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., on May 28, 1995, in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. This was his love, not just his vocation; it was his calling by God.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated October 14 at St. Peter the Apostle Church, Provincetown. Burial followed in St. Peter Cemetery. 

Arrangements were handled by Gately McHoul Funeral Home.

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