Sunday, February 26, 2023


University of Louisville News & Perspectives

Harry Cook gets a new tailgating destination

Harry Cook is the big guy at top right. His wife Candy is second from the left in the front row.
Harry Cook is the big guy at top right. His wife Candy is second from the left in the front row.

One important person will be missing when a group of longtime friends convene for their tailgating activities prior to the University of Louisville-Boston College football game on October 24.

Harry Cook, a gentle giant and staunch UofL football fan, died shortly after he and his wife Candy pulled into their driveway on Friday following a return trip from Orlando. His departure comes as a shock to all who know him, a quiet, unassuming guy who people liked immediately. He was 50, far too young to leave.

Harry Cook during earlier days.
Harry Cook during earlier days.

Harry was always among the first to arrive for tailgating at parking spot 878 in Row V in the Green Lot on game days. He and Candy were also the last to leave Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium because Harry would never leave before a game was over. Candy would say Harry was her “heater,” wrapping his arms around her, keeping her warm during those freezing late season games.

“His kind heart and big smile would warm us all on a cold fall day,” said Paula Derringer, who along with her husband David, are members of the group. “He will be greatly missed by his tailgate friends.”

While the tailgating group has been together for several years, my wife Barbara and I are relatively new to the group, acquiring a new parking spot next to theirs two years ago. Shortly afterward, we were invited to join them. Harry and Candy were among the first people we met, along with David and Paula, Mark and Michelle Mitchell, and Tom and Lisa Cissell. They’re like old friends now.

Harry would always wind up in a certain spot, seemingly presiding over the tailgate. Always smiling, he was where he wanted to be, tailgating at UofL football games. He played football at North Hardin High School and was drawn to Louisville football as a youngster, keeping up with the players and their stats. He and Candy enjoyed going to away games as well.

“He loved his wife, family and friends dearly,” said Paula. “Candy was his soul mate and they did everything together.”

Members of his tailgating team are being requested to wear red and black to his visitation Tuesday and funeral on Wednesday.

Share this

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “Harry Cook gets a new tailgating destination

  • October 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I’m very sorry for your loss of a personal friend and a great Cardinal fan.

  • October 6, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    This is terrible news. I worked with Harry twenty years ago at UPS. He was a good guy who you could always share a laugh with. Prayers to his family and friends.

  • October 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Harry is my brother and it touches me deeply not only how he had a impact on my life but how he touched others. Beautifully written .

Comments are closed.