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Obituary: Ron Cook

Published February 19, 2019 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated June 10, 2019 at 12:55 p.m.

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Ron Cook
  • Ron Cook

On February 5, Burlington became less sparkly, less fabulous and less “wow” when, following a brief illness, Ron Cook left us.

Born and raised in Northfield, Vt., Ronnie attended the Pratt Institute of Architecture in Brooklyn, N.Y., but his ties in Vermont brought him back to continue at the University of Vermont and, eventually, the Sheldon Beauty Academy. There he learned skills to add to his artistic talent and discovered his life’s work: making people feel beautiful and confident.

Ronnie was a stylist in Burlington for more than 50 years, beginning with It’s Hair! and moving on to Freestyle and Tonic (and others) before finding his “forever chair” at O’M Salon. Many people have claimed that Ronnie was their stylist for more than 30 years. Not known for his speed or efficiency, Ron never let anyone out of the chair until he was satisfied.

You may not have had your hair done by Ron, or know of anyone who has, but you’ve seen his work. Whether it was one of the 30-plus shows he designed for Lyric Theatre Company or the House of LeMay or one of his own personal creations that he’d wear to Drag Ball, Ron left his mark.

Weather permitting, Ron was in his (or other people’s) gardens. He was often sought out for his advice and expertise. Other interests were visiting Eduardo and Tim in Arizona, heading to a casino, and vacationing in Ogunquit and Provincetown.

He leaves behind his sisters Cynthia Mengis of Burlington and Shelia Barlow of Florida; many nieces and nephews; his work family at O’M Salon — Don O’Connell, Serena Magnan O'Connell, Robert Driver and Bree LeMay — whom he treasured deeply; his many friends in the community, including his dearest Jennifer Honeywood; and his clients and customers, whom he greatly appreciated and whose secrets he always kept.

Donations may be made to Lyric Theatre, c/o Ron Cook Fund, P.O. Box 1688, Williston, VT 05495.

To quote Ron, “Whatever, whatever ... carry on!”

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