COLUMBIA — Brian Dale Cook loved the Pittsburgh Steelers. He collected flags, shirts and blankets bearing the team's name.
During football season, he would spend most Sundays watching the Steelers play at his friend Marc Bledsoe's home. He would eat a breakfast of biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs with Bledsoe's family before sitting down to catch the pregame coverage, Bledsoe said.
"It was a Steelers party anytime the Steelers played," Cook's stepfather, Chuck Everitt, said.
Mr. Cook, of Columbia, died Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, of unknown causes. He was 44.
He was born Feb. 5, 1968, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to Bobbi J. (Hunt) Everitt and Dale G. Cook.
Mr. Cook played Columbia Youth Football from 1980-81. He wrestled and played football for Rock Bridge High School from 1984-86.
He graduated from Rock Bridge High School in 1986. He then graduated from MU and was the first person on either side of his family to graduate from college, Chuck Everitt said.
Mr. Cook worked at Midwest Independent Bank in Jefferson City for 15 years. He was an information technology manager before becoming the information technology audit department manager He conducted security scans and audits of banks in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, said Cheri Walz, chief financial officer of the bank.
Mr. Cook tested banks' Internet connections to see if there were any vulnerabilities in their security that hackers could breach, said Robb Emerson, chief information officer of the bank.
Walz said that Mr. Cook would always go "the extra mile" for his customers, establishing long-standing relationships with them during his 15 years as an employee at the bank.
"We are all so saddened by his loss and think the world lost a great person and friend," Walz said. "He will be missed by all."
Mr. Cook once helped Chuck Everitt fix his computer after it had been hacked. "He was just an absolute wizard," Chuck Everitt said.
ChuckEveritt described Mr. Cook as "one of the kindest and sweetest people (he'd) ever known. (Brian) was kind of a peacemaker, standing between people saying 'hey, it will be OK.'"
Mr. Cook was "a good friend and a good uncle to my children," Bledsoe said. "It's nice to have him around. My kids got another example of what a good life could be."
Mr. Cook is survived by his mother, Bobbi Everitt, and her husband, Chuck, of Columbia; his father, Dale Cook, and his wife, Phyllis, of Glendale, Ariz.; three stepsiblings, Kevin Cook, and his wife, Michelle, of Glendale, Ariz., Todd Everitt, and his wife, Paulette, of Columbia, and Marcia Spruytte and her husband, Phillip, of Lenexa, Kan.; three uncles, Kenny Cook, of Columbia, Lyle Cook and Gary Cook, both of Arizona; an aunt, Donna Knottingham ; and a nephew and niece, Brandon Cook and Marissa Cook, of Glendale, Ariz.
His grandparents, Carl and Louise Hunt, died earlier.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. Dress is casual –no suits or ties.
Memorial contributions can be made to Columbia Youth Football League Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 7052, Columbia, MO 65202.
Tributes can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetary.com.
Supervising editor is Dan Burley.