JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A St. Augustine man killed in an industrial accident on Valentine's Day was the "rock for our whole family," his wife said Wednesday.
Dwight "Ike" Cook, who was unloading doors at Manning Building Supplies in St. Augustine, was crushed Tuesday afternoon when the load shifted. Cook, 57, died at the scene, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Earlier that morning, Danielle Cook decided to stop by her husband’s work -- something she rarely does -- to leave some candy on his desk.
“As I was leaving, he was coming in, so I got to see him,” Cook said Wednesday. “We said, ‘Happy Valentine's Day.’ We were looking forward to a nice dinner. That was the last time I saw him. … I feel really blessed that I had that moment with him -- never dreaming it would be the last one I would share.”
Danielle Cook told News4Jax the pair had been married for 33 years, and she doesn’t remember what life was like without him. The Cooks have two grown children.
“It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone -- that so many people care and that so many people thought very highly of him,” Danielle Cook said. “He was a good man. He will be dearly missed. I miss him already.”
Danielle Cook didn’t expect she’d have to say goodbye to the love of her life.
“I keep feeling like I expect him to walk through the door, you know?” she said. “He is the one person that I would be leaning on at a time like this and he was our rock for our whole family.”
The couple were married when Danielle Cook was just 19 years old. They were young, in love and dreamed of owning their own business. That landed the Cooks in St. Augustine, where they opened an ice cream shop. Most recently, the couple ran a wine shop in downtown St. Augustine.
Danielle Cook also works for the St. Johns County School District, and Ike had his job at Manning Building Supply.
“He was, without a doubt, my best friend,” Danielle Cook said. “Even after all of these years, (he was) the person that still made my heart race and made me laugh and took good care of me.”
Danielle Cook said her sister is also a widow, so if anyone were to understand what she’s going through, it would be her. Cook said she finds that comforting.
The couple’s grown children also live in the area, which Cook said helps. The family members will be leaning on each other heavily as they heal. They appreciate the support they’ve received from friends, co-workers and the community, Danielle Cook added.
The Cooks’ daughter recently married, and it was nice Ike Cook was able to walk her down the aisle, Danielle Cook said.