Life Story / Obituary


David H. Cool, age 89, passed away at St. Monica’s Senior Living on Friday, June 3, 2022.

David was born in Ogdensburg, New York, to the late Harry J. and Ruth Margaret (Nee: Reynolds) Cool on April 28, 1933. On November 30, 1984, he was united in marriage to Marianne Ritis.

He graduated from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955, and received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard University in 1957.

After holding positions with the Electronics Division of Curtiss-Wright Corporation in New Jersey, the Crosley Division of Avco Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio, Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York, and the Carborundum Company in Niagara Falls, New York, where he held the position of Vice-President-Finance, he joined Johnson Wax in late 1970, retiring in mid-1990.

His initial position at Johnson Wax was Vice President-Finance, and his position at retirement was Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure with the Johnson family interests, he also served in various capacities as a member of the Heritage banking management (now Johnson Bank) and as a Director of Johnson Worldwide Associates (now Johnson Outdoors). He was a Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Johnson’s Wax Fund and headed its scholarship committee.

Other directorships held included The Bingham Companies of Louisville, Kentucky, owners of the Courier-Journal and various television stations. He also served on the Advisory Council of Marquette University’s College of Business Administration and on various committees of the U.S. National Chamber of Commerce.

His activities in professional and civic organizations were extensive. He was president of the Racine Area United Way, Chairman of the Board of Directors at St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital and Vice Chairman of the Board of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. He was a Fellow of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and lectured at the New School For Social Research in New York.

He was a member of the Financial Executives Institute and served as president of the Harvard Business School Club of Rochester, New York. Other club memberships included the Racine Country Club, Milwaukee Country Club, the Somerset Club, Pine Tree Golf Club in Boynton Beach, Florida and The Little Club in Gulfstream, Florida.

He was involved in many fundraising activities, notably for the Racine Zoo, Prairie School and other Racine area organizations.

David and his wife, Marianne, had made their principal residence in Boynton Beach, Florida for many years but returned to Racine to be closer to family and friends. Their great love has been traveling, cruising around the world many times and from the Northern Arctic to Antarctica. Other interests revolve around golf, theatre, reading, and, of course, family.

David is survived by his loving wife, Marianne, of thirty-seven years; daughters Suzanne Cool of Jupiter, FL; Lisa (John) Dykema of DePere, Wisconsin; grandsons David, Nick, Jack and Harry Dykema; brother-in-law William Ritis of Phoenix, Arizona; and many relatives and friends.

Per his wishes, no public services were held. A private interment has taken place at Holy Cross Cemetery, Holy Cross Road.