Fred Cook

Fred Cook

Managing Director / CEO

I worked at Cook Funeral Home, another of our family businesses, for most of my life and retired, passing the business on to my son. When my sister, Jean, was looking to retire from managing Byron Center Manor, she sought my help. After working here for a while, we determined that either another family member or I would have to step into this position, or we would have to sell it to an outside company. It is my father’s wish that our family continues to operate Byron Center Manor as long as possible, maintaining our family values here. This is actually my second time working for the Manor, as I supervised most of the construction of all the buildings that make up Byron Center Manor.

I remember the base reason we built the Manor — there were very few care options in our area when we started. Economically, we had to expand to stay in business, so we continued to build. My grandmother was a resident here for many years, along with many other family members. When my mother developed dementia, there were no options, so we built our East Building, Meadow Place, knowing that others would need this care as well. It is fulfilling to me to know that we give the best care possible to the community, including many more family and friends.

I grew up in Grandville. After high school, I married and went to work at Keeler Brass as a machine repairman. I started college and drove truck for my wife’s family business at the same time. I finished my schooling in Indianapolis to join Cook Funeral Home. I was there as a licensed funeral director for 35 years. My brothers and I took ownership about 30 years ago, and both of my brothers retired before I did. Now I serve as Managing Director of Byron Center Manor.

To see Fred’s full interview with eightWest, click here.

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