Massena: Raymond J. “Wahniti:io” Cook, 62, passed away on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital after a brief illness.
Raymond was born on December 22, 1956 in Malone, NY the son of Julius M. and Elda (Benedict) Cook. He graduated from Brentwood High School, Long Island, NY in 1975. Following graduation he joined the Marine Corps and was deployed to the Mediterranean during Desert Storm. Raymond was honorably discharged after two years. Upon returning home he attended Canton ATC. He later attended Ithaca College and Cornell University for Radio and Communications.
Raymond always said his career in journalism began when he was 12 years old, when he delivered newspapers in Long Island. He was a co-founder of the Native American Journalist Association, former typesetter and layout producer for Akwesasne Notes, co-founder of the Indian Time newspaper, founder of Akwesasne Freedom Radio, co-founder of the Associated Indigenous Communications. He formerly served as an audio producer for Indigenous People’s Network, associate editor of the Northeast Indian Quarterly, and op-ed editor for Indian Country Today Media Network. Raymond was a passionate and fierce activist for Native rights
He worked for the Oneida Indian Nation in various capacities for over 20 years.
Ray also owned and operated Rezzdog Associates where he worked as a consultant.
Ray was a member of the American Legion Post 1479. He also belonged to the Leather Necks Bike Club of Central New York Chapter and most recently the Punishers Bike Club. Raymond enjoyed riding his motorcycles and valued the camaraderie and brotherhood of his fellow riders. He also enjoyed spending time in his garden.
He was previously married to Dulcie Neddie Thompson and together they had a son Julius Jake Cook.
He married Tracy Sunday on August 17, 2001 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Ray is survived by his mother, Elda Cook of Akwesasne; his wife Tracy SundayCook of Massena; a son Julius Jake Cook and his companion Marcy of Massena, and her children, Cameron and Katie, step children, Adrianne Jacobs, Nicole, Noel and Rikki Terrance, and special grandson, Sonnie Cook, a sister, Beverly Cook of Awkasasne; three nieces, Karoniahawi Thomas, Cubby Kanarahtenhawe, and Tsiawente Jackson, one step-nephew Harley Chubb, several great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Julius.
Friends and family may be received on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 4:00 pm until the time of service Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 11:00 am at the home of Raymond, 199 State Highway 37B, Massena, NY 13662.
Arrangements are under the direction of Phillips Memorial Home in Massena. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.PhllipsMemorial.com
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