American Veteran 09

Robert Royal Cook

December 29, 1928 ~ October 3, 2020 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Robert Cook Obituary

Robert Royal Cook of Manhattan, Kansas passed away on October 3, 2020 at Ascension Via Christi, Manhattan. 

Robert (Bob) was born midwinter, December 29, 1928 in Jewell County, KS on the farm his grandfather homesteaded, to parents Albert Elmer Cook and Lula Inscho Cook. The second youngest of nine children, he arrived in a world heading into global depression and war. Bob’s father died during the depression and the family would lose the farm before the country could climb out. Memories Bob would relate involved roaming the creeks & woods hunting for food to add to the dinner and improvising toys out of broken machinery with his younger brother Don. Bob graduated from Jewell Rural High School in May 1946.


Bob’s military career spanned the terms of five U.S. Presidents. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1947 he would retire from the Air Force a Chief Master Sergeant in 1974. His career took him around the U.S. and to Italy, France, & Britain.

During his first tour in Italy, Bob met his future wife, Giovanna T. Pironti. They married on April 1st, 1955. Over the next twenty years, Bob & Giovanna would raise four kids as they traveled around two continents, visiting as many historic & beautiful places as they could manage.

On retirement, Bob settled the family in Manhattan, KS where he supported Giovanna in her teaching career and pursuit of higher education. Bob was quite interested in Genealogy, relating many family stories and recording as much as he could remember or discover. He loved visits with his family. Through much traveling and his marriage to an Italian woman, he took an interest in the ways people adapted to life and the richness that brings to the world. He was a fairly open & friendly man who believed most people are rather decent and share a lot of the same struggles & joys in life. He generally searched for the best in people and was sympathetic to the less fortunate. Not very political most of his life, he grew notably critical of the quality of some of our national & state political leaders’ acquaintance with the truth or even reality, and frequently expressed this through many letters to the editor of newspapers around Kansas & Missouri. A grandson of a Civil War veteran, he served his nation in its rise into a global power then lived long enough to witness its retreat from leadership. The Alpha and Omega of a long & honorable American life.

Robert is preceded in death by his wife Giovanna, brothers Oliver, Joseph, Leland, Leonard, & Derile; and sisters Beth & Ella May. He is survived by his daughter Marika; sons Rob Roy, Derek, and Randy; grandchildren Trent, Camille, Darcie, and Vanessa; brother Donald; along with many nieces & nephews.

A service will be held on October 17, 2020. Please contact the family at 513-448-6769 for details as attendance is limited. There will not be a visitation.

Memorial donations may be made to the Department of Veteran Affairs at:

“Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”

For online condolences, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Royal Cook, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Robert Royal Cook?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Robert's memory.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Robert Royal Cook

© 2023 Kleppinger Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility