Dwight McKinley Cook, of Surry County, passed on May 8th, 2021, at the age of 82. Dwight was an avid horseman. While growing up in Pilot Mountain, he developed a love of horses from his father. His parents always had a pony or a horse in the stall for him to ride. As a kid, he would sneak off to an area that was cleared in preparation for Interstate 52 to compete with other boys in Pony Races. As the story goes, his pony was the fastest. One day his father arrived home with a new horse, unlike any of their previous horses. Dwight jumped on and fell in love with Tennessee Walkers. By the time he reached his 50’s Dwight had started buying, selling, trading, and breeding Tennessee Walking Horses. He loved keeping the stalls full and never minded building a fence. Dwight was known to travel the state to participate in trail rides and competitions. He often went to Tennessee to compete with riders from all over the country. He had great success at these national competitions. He was always willing to brag on his horses and share photos of his experiences. He had several National World Grand Champions over the years. A horse named Hot Fudge was his pride and joy. Dwight made many friends from the saddle at competitions and on trail rides in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida. In recent years his health prevented him from riding, but he still kept in touch with his horse community friends and always remembered them fondly.
Dwight was born on August 4th, 1938, to the late Alburn McKinley and Ruby Chilton Cook. He graduated from Pilot Mountain High School and then Gaston Technical Institute. He became a licensed electrician and worked for Pike Electric, Duke Energy, and R. J. Reynolds. Dwight retired from Reynolds after many years of service. He loved being outside, deer hunting, and watching races in person or on television. He was gifted at building and repairing anything.
Surviving are his three daughters, Cyndi Cook, Kim C. Williams (Jeff), and Christi Cook; two granddaughters, Bailey W. Long (Jon), Macy W. Sawtelle (Michael), and numerous cousins.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00PM, Wednesday, May 12th, 2021, at Simmons Grove Baptist Church. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held in the church sanctuary. The Rev. Stuart Mauck and Rev. Jacob Hall will officiate. Cox-Needham Funeral Home, of Pilot Mountain, is assisting the family. Mr. Cook will lie in state Tuesday, May 11, from 8:30-5:00 and Wednesday, May 12, from 8:30 – 1:00. The family asks all attendees please wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Memorials may be made to Simmons Grove Baptist Church, 443 Simmons Grove Church Road, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041.
Online condolences may be made to the Cook family at www.coxneedham.com.
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