Kathleen Elizabeth (Ford) Cook was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 8, 1922, the eldest child of Frank Ford and Pauline (Machlan) Ford. She entered into eternal rest on June 30, 2016, at Southern Hills Specialty Care, in Osceola, IA at the age of ninety three years, six months, and twenty-two days.
Kathleen was raised in Indianola, Iowa, and graduated from Indianola High School in 1940. From 1942-1943, Kathleen majored in music at Simpson College. On May 30, 1943, she and Joseph Jonathan Cook were married at her parents’ home. They moved to Corning, Iowa, in 1947, where they raised six children.
Kathleen gave piano lessons and served as the organist at the First Presbyterian Church. In 1970, she continued her education at Graceland College and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1973. She taught vocal music at Nishna Valley and at the Corning Community Schools, retiring in 1988. She then returned to teaching private piano lessons and remained the church organist until she was 87.
Kathleen had a very keen mind and was a lifelong learner. She enjoyed solving the Sunday crossword puzzle (in ink) and was a voracious reader. She was a member of numerous clubs, including Women’s Club and P.E.O. Kathleen was a gifted accompanist and served as a judge at many high school music competitions. She and Joe enjoyed traveling, watching sports (especially the Iowa Hawkeyes), performing community service and spending time with family and friends.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Frank Ford, Jr. and James Ford, her sister Betty Wiedemann, her sons James Rae and Joseph Jonathan III, grandsons Timmy Cook and Lance Okasaki, her loving husband of 59 years and numerous sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
Left to cherish her memory are her children, Joan Kay Peterson (Marlow), of Osceola, Iowa, Jane Ann Okasaki (Larry) of Commerce City, Colo., Jeffrey Dennis Cook (Denise) of Des Moines and Jeffrey Alan Cook (Jill) of Gladstone, Mo., daughters-in-law Mary Cook DeYeager of Omaha, Neb., and Connie Plower of Austin, Tex., 17 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, sister Judy Gatrel (Ron) of Loma Linda, Calif., brother-in-law Bob Wiedemann, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.