Goodbye to a Champ

Guest Author: Club Historian Marty Mangold

Bill Cook was one of the senior members in the BMGA and I was a young new member in 1990.  Bill was the type that would always request late tee times for events so he could get his stretching in.  I on the other hand would come screaming into the parking lot on four hours sleep and barely make my tee time.

Bill passed away last week at the age of 92.  He was a longtime member of the BMGA.  His resume includes the Brookview Club Championship in 1969, the Senior Club Championship in 1992, 1995 and 1997.  He was the MPGA President in 1977 and 1978.

I realize that there are only a handful of current members who even know who Bill was.  But it is guys like Bill, Don Gustafson, Mike Essma, Don Schuenemann, Fred Sicora, Jim Sicora, Len Lewicki, Vince Kennedy, Henry Bongard, Bob Littlefield and many others that made my early days in the BMGA so fun.  They had funny stories, stale jokes and could play some golf.  They gave me pointers on how to play Brooky, which I obviously haven’t done very well!  They were characters.  They were the foundation of the early years of the BMGA and it is important that they are recognized and remembered.

Let’s all lift a glass. RIP Bill

3 thoughts to “Goodbye to a Champ”

  1. Marty, thanks for this write-up. I knew Bill well, having played many rounds with him in the early 2000’s. One time we were playing Individual Match against each other, he beat me, and I was upset about playing poorly and losing the match. After the round Bill said to me: “Yury, don’t feel bad. You have a long time of playing and competing ahead of you, but my golf career is coming to an end”. RIP Bill Cook.
    You also mention Henry Bongard. When we moved to Golden Valley in 1999 and bought a house next to Brookview, I went to the course one Sunday morning hoping to pair up with someone and play 18. Henry and Lyle Bey were on the 1st tee, I joined them, and we ended up playing together most weekend mornings for the next couple of years. During that first round Henry told me about BMGA and I joined a few days later.

    1. Wow……great stories Yury. I found out last night that Bill was Larry Jocelyn’s music teacher. Brian Bongard….Henry’s son….is a Realtor in the same office I am in. I see him all the time. He said Henry is still going strong.


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