Incredible, inspiring, and loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt; caregiver; optimistic; wise; hard working; tireless; selfless; happy; unconventional; and generous—these are but a few of the words that describe Joan Carol Cook, who left us on Saturday, May 11, 2019, in the arms of her son, William, and her granddaughter, Tiffaney. Born 92 years ago in McFarland, Mich., she was the youngest child of 12 born to Archie and Louise Connor. After living in Grand Ledge, Mich., and Rapid River, Mich., she moved to Gladstone in 1967 where she spent the rest of her life in the home and city of which she was so very fond. She is survived by her son; granddaughters, Brittney and Tiffaney; two great-granddaughters, Sailor and Rebelle; two special cousins; and many loving nieces and nephews whom she adored. Her beloved daughter, Tracey, preceded her in death in 2011. In 1987, Joan travelled with friends to Berlin, Germany, to visit her son. During that memorable vacation they toured many cities as well as several surrounding countries, and a Rhine River cruise. She also travelled to North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, and Florida to visit her daughter and grandchildren plus later also visited William in Virginia. Joan had an unconventional knack for fixing or assembling things which often gave people pause both for their originality and that they actually worked. She often said she felt born in the wrong century; she loved old western movies—particularly those starring John Wayne. She was also a great fan of the many Alaska wilderness reality television series, remarking how much she’d enjoy that life too. Joan was extremely proud of her Irish heritage and, next to Easter, Saint Patrick’s Day was her favorite holiday. When Joan was 75, her daughter persuaded her to get two tattoos—shamrocks on one wrist for her son, and a Celtic cross on the other for her daughter. She loved to sing and one song particularly—Nikolena—her favorite, she’d sing at all family gatherings. During her working years she almost always held two jobs, permanently employed at the Gladstone elementary school kitchen and also as a caregiver to many elderly residents as well. When at home, Joan loved working in the yard and tending the flowers she planted each spring. Mom meant everything to us and was cherished by her entire family. If ‘missing’ means the love that remains when someone is gone, then words cannot describe how greatly she will be forever loved and missed.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone. Funeral services celebrating the life of Joan will follow at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, with Rev. Timothy B. Wright officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services in the church fellowship hall.
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