Maurice M. Zook, 74, a retired American Red Cross official who received the Medal of Freedom for his work with United Nations forces in Korea during the conflict there, died of cancer June 26 at Fairfax Hospital.
Mr. Zook was born in Bessie, Okla., and grew up in Kansas and Arizona. For several years he was a newspaperman in the Arizona and New Mexico and in 1936 purchased the Flagstaff (Ariz.) Journal. He later operated the Madison (Neb.) Star-Mail.
In 1945, Mr. Zook joined the American Red Cross and was assigned to the Pacific as an assistant field director for military services.After the war, he was director of the Tokyo Field Office of the Red Cross, a post he held from 1946 until the outbreak of the Korean conflict at the end of June 1950.
He then was sent to Korea as the Red Cross regional supervisor with the U.S. Eighth Army. He also was a representative of the International Red Cross during this period and worked with other U.N. forces.
He left Korea after 18 months and settled in Alexandria, where he was the assistant supervisor for military services in the eastern area of the Red Cross. In 1954, he resigned from the organization and moved to Falls Church.
For the next few years, he was the American representative for a Japanese firm that manufactured electron microscopes. About 1957, he became ill and was able to work only intermittently after that time. He ran a flower shop in Springfield in the late 1960s and the early 1970s and a Kopy Kat printing shop in the mid-1970s.
The citation Mr. Zook received with the Medal of Freedom said that "with complete disregard for personal safety, he traveled extensively, often under hazardous conditions, to insure the successful accomplishment of the Red Cross mission. . . . "
Mr. Zook's survivors include his wife, the former Lola Moeller, whom he married in 1932, of Falls Church; one brother, Wallace W. Zook of Montclair, Calif., and two sisters, Mildred Hale of Mesa, Ariz., and Elizabeth Tissot of Chino, Calif.