Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 15, 2014

Betty J. Cook

TRAVERSE CITY — Betty J. Cook, one of the original residents of Glen Eagle, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2014, at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, with loving family at her bedside. It was only 17 days before her 94th birthday.

Betty was born at home during a blizzard on March 18, 1920, in Putman County, Ohio, to Amanda Sroufe and Clarence Samsal. The doctor arrived by horse and buggy.

She attended Bluffton College, Ohio, where she met and married Fred S. Cook, to whom she was married for 60 years.

She is survived by daughters, Linda J. Hickman, of Esher, England, and Marcia Cook-Fine (Ron), of Traverse City; grandchildren, Jeffrey Hickman (Stephanie), of Palo Alto, Calif., Sasha Beoshanz (Marc), of Davis, Calif., and Michelle Gray (Ed), of London, England; and great-grandchildren, Ethan and Chloe Hickman, Garret and Josie Beoshanz, and Anna and Juliet Gray.

Betty’s life took her from a one-room country school house, to college in 1930s, to marriage to a professor, moving from Ann Arbor (University of Michigan), to Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Coe College), to Palo Alto, Calif. (Stanford University), to Detroit (Wayne State University).

She became a classic homemaker in the ‘40s and ‘50s. She later became a longtime member of the Grosse Pointe Congregational Church, Wayne State University Faculty Wives and was especially proud to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.). The latter was and outcome of her decades devoted to genealogical research (long before internet searches, all of her research notes handwritten), which together with her husband, Fred, took her to primary resources throughout the U.S., England and Germany.

Travel was a significant part of Betty’s life. For decades Betty and her husband traveled frequently to Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

More significant was her focus on her family and friends, reinforced through her prolific card and letter writing. She faithfully sent birthday, Christmas, wedding, anniversary and graduation cards (and gifts) to family, extended family and lifelong friends. She had maintained correspondence with some of these for more than 60 years. She sent her last letter to one of her great-granddaughters. It contained genealogical information for a school assignment. The letter reached her great-granddaughter in London, England, on March 1, the day she died.

Please send memorial donations to the Alzheimer’s Association of Michigan, which Betty supported in honor of her late husband, Dr. Fred S. Cook.

A graveside service will be held in the spring

Please visit to share your memories of Betty.

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