I knew Phil Cook and was quite aware of his famous mother (Alice Cook House on the West Campus), a stalwart on the ILR faculty.  He grew up in Ithaca.

David Kessler

Through the courtesy of Phil Cook's daughter, Debra S. Cook, his full obituary is given below. Phil had quite a distinguished career in his own right.

Larry Wheeler


A memorial service for Philip J. Cook, former executive director of the Erie County Water Authority and a former City of Buffalo budget director, will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Central Meeting Room of the Central Library, Lafayette Square.

Cook, 61, died unexpectedly March 22, 2001, in Handan, China, while working on several water-purification projects for the World Bank. From 1990 to 1996, he was deputy director and then executive director of the Erie County Water Authority after serving earlier as deputy administrative director. He introduced numerous management and financial reforms and brought the Water Authority back to the bond market after a 12-year hiatus.

Since then, he worked on World Bank projects in the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Liaoning and Shandong, turning state water supply and wastewater treatment plants into self-sustaining facilities. He also consulted on the reorganization of water and wastewater treatment plants in Egypt for a U.S. Agency for International Development project.

Born in Philadelphia, he attended high school in Ithaca. He attended Cornell University, served in the Army and received a bachelor's degree in political science with honors from the University at Buffalo. He later earned a doctorate in policy studies from UB and helped establish UB's department of management/ policy studies.

He was appointed to his first public post in 1969, as a consultant for the Buffalo Model Cities Program. He then became a consultant to the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency and supervisor of a special city budget project. Cook was appointed research director for the Buffalo Office of Crime Control Planning in 1972 and the next year became senior management analyst in the city's Division of Management Services.

He was named Budget Director by Mayor Stanley M. Makowski in 1974 and served until 1976, when he became administrator of the City's Office of Community and Economic Development. From 1978 to 1984, he was director of the Assembly's Office of Management and Budget.

Cook also was president of ACL Inc., a research and consulting firm that worked with political and nonprofit groups. In addition, he served as a pollster for the Democratic Party. He also taught management and finance courses for utility executives. He taught in Cornell University's Industrial & Labor Relations Extension School, the State University at Albany, UB and Medaille College.

Cook published numerous articles and reports for governmental and professional agencies. He also was co-author of "The Anatomy of a Riot: Buffalo, 1967." Fluent in German, he also spoke French and Spanish. He credited his love of languages, classical music, art and travel to the time he spent as a boy in Germany while his parents, both labor organizers, did work under the Marshall Plan. A lifelong activist, he supported many political and charitable causes.

Surviving are his wife, Hope Hoetzer-Cook; a daughter, Debra Samantha of Doraville, GA; a half sister, Susan of East Fairfield, VT; a half brother, David of Seattle, WA; a foster brother, Thomas Bernstein of New York City; and a foster sister, Adelheit Troescher, a member of Germany's Bundestag.

Alice Hanson Cook, 94, Advocate for Women

Published: February 15, 1998

Alice Hanson Cook, a Cornell University scholar, early feminist and longtime advocate of equal pay for women and support programs for working mothers, died on Feb. 7 at her home in Ithaca, N.Y., of complications from a stroke. She was 94.
Professor Cook began work at Cornell in 1954 and was associated with the university for almost two decades, specializing in labor history in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She wrote extensively on issues dealing with women, unions, labor relations, sex discrimination and equal employment opportunities in the United States and abroad.
''She was not only interested, but concerned in every aspect of the working woman's life,'' said Jennie Farley, a Cornell professor of industrial and labor relations. ''Alice made it clear that these issues were universal in their importance and that they affected every woman no matter where she lived and worked.''
Her retirement in 1972 was marked with the establishment of Cook's Grove in a Cornell quadrangle, identified by a plaque that read ''Teacher, Feminist, First University Ombudsman.''

Speaking at a 1993 showing of ''Never Done: The Working Life of Alice H. Cook,'' a documentary film on her career, Professor Cook described her mother and grandmother as turn-of-the-century suffragists who had brought her up to believe that ''girls deserved education as much as boys.'' At the same event, she recalled the opening of the Cornell Faculty Club to women -- an event in which she played a pivotal role -- and her appointment as the university's first ombudsman.
The daughter of Flora and August Hanson, a peripatetic railroad accountant, Alice Hanson was born in Alexandria, Va., in 1903. She attended Northwestern University, her mother's alma mater, where she was a co-founder of the student Liberal League to promote socialism, civil liberties and labor unions, and was involved in the Student League for Industrial Democracy.
She recalled that she and 37 fellow students had once identified themselves as pacifists who would refuse to fight in another war. They were branded ''the 38'' by The Chicago Tribune, she said, and described as ''a regretted presence at Northwestern.''

 As she became increasingly active, she shared speakers' platforms with Jane Addams, the founder of Hull House in Chicago; worked in St. Louis with a social welfare agency, and taught at a cooperative farming community in Arkansas. After receiving her degree in 1924, she married Wesley Cook, a divinity student who later became involved in union activities. They were divorced in 1950.
Professor Cook's career spanned five spheres: social work, labor organization, labor education, foreign service and the academy. In the late 1930's, she left her job with the Y.W.C.A. in Philadelphia to organize textile workers. Later, she was associated in community affairs and education with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Enginemen and Firemen, the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen, and the Marine and Shipbuilding Workers.
She was the visiting expert on labor education with the Office of Military Government in postwar Germany in the late 1940's, and chief of the Adult Education Section of the United States High Commission in Germany from 1950 to 1952.

She joined the extension division of the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell in 1952 and two years later was invited by the dean to teach labor history.
Her autobiography, ''A Lifetime in Labor,'' completed shortly before her death, will be published this spring by Feminist Press of New York.
She is survived by two sons, Phillip Cook of Buffalo and Thomas Bernstein of Manhattan; two brothers, Frederick Hanson of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and Evanston, Ill., and Theodore Hanson of Honolulu; three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.