Howard Cook funeral: Son to drive JCB for Ponderosa founder’s final journey from Cleckheaton to Dewsbury Crematorium, via the famous Heckmondwike business he established, in ‘fitting tribute’
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Mr Cook, who opened the Heckmondwike centre in 1991, sadly died at the age of 79 on Saturday, September 30, following a short illness.
The funeral will take place on Friday, October 20, with his son, Adam, behind the wheel of a vehicle he became synonymous with due to his work in the construction industry, a JCB, with his father’s coffin hoisted aloft in front.
Adam, 44, said: “When I was four-years-old, my Dad picked me up and put me in a JCB and I sat in those JCB’s, behind him, all his life. He spent all his life working outside and on JCB’s and machinery. There was no other way for a fitting tribute to his work and construction career, and Ponderosa as well, than this for a final journey.
“It is just so unique. I just wanted something different and I wanted him in something he drove for most days of his life.
“It’s an honour to drive him. He was not just my Dad, he was my best friend. It’s an honour to think he’ll be sat there looking at me saying, ‘This is the way to do it, Ads. This is the only way.’
“It will be an honour to take him on his last journey in something he has been passionate about all his life.”
The businessman’s final journey will see Adam leave David Butterfield Funeral Directors, on Bradford Road in Cleckheaton, at 1.30pm, before arriving at Ponderosa at approximately 1.50pm for a service at 2pm - in the Lakeside Restaurant which Mr Cook built.
Adam and the JCB - which simply reads ‘DAD, HOWARD COOK MBE’ - will then lead a procession to Dewsbury Crematorium for a private committal for family and close friends.
Adam added: “It will be a celebration of his life and a celebration with everyone around him. He always wanted to look at the good side of life and he was always very supportive.”
The funeral will take place on Friday, October 20.