He was born March 8, 1958, the son of Patricia (Dight) Cook Rill and the late John J. Cook.
He was a 1976 graduate from Phoenix. He earned a degree in economics from SUNY Potsdam in 1980.
He spent 17 years at Newfane Lumber Co., Lockport; later management positions elswhere. Besides his father, he is also predeceased by his step-father, Paul W. Rill in 2011.