Mary (Louise) Cook was born in Hays, KS on July 11, 1932 to Stephan and Elizabeth (Braun) Stramel, the 5th of 6 children born to this union. She grew up in Hays, attended school, and worked there until she moved to Russell. It was while living there that she met and married Don Cook of Russell, KS on July 22, 1955. Together they had three children, Greg, Debbie, and Mark.
Mary was a stay at home Mother, raising her children and also taking in other children to sit while their parents worked outside the home. She was an active member of the Otterbein United Methodist Church throughout her life, teaching Sunday school, participating in the United Methodist Women's (Group / Fellowship) and regularly attending church and church functions.
When her grandchildren were born she took great pleasure in sitting for them and later being involved in their extra-curricular school activities. She rarely missed a football, basketball, baseball game, track or wrestling meet. She enjoyed watching her granddaughter Audra's dance recitals since she was young.
Mary was also known to frequent the A&W and was a big supporter/fan not just of the food but also of the owner/operator - her grandson Tim. She was so proud of them for all of their accomplishments. She was blessed with her first great grandchild this year, Paxton Henne, and he has been a great joy to her in the all too short time they had together.
Mary also loved animals and had several dogs and cats through the years that she cared for and made part of her family. She was a gentle soul with a big heart that put family first and foremost in her life and was in return loved dearly.
Mary passed away August 26th at the Russell Regional Hospital. She was preceded in death by her husband Don, her parents, her sisters Eleanor Saunders, Hays, Agnes Stramel, Hays, brothers Alfred Stramel, Kansas City/Hays, and Richard Stramel also of Hays. She is survived by her brother Henry Stramel, Hays, children Greg Cook and wife Ramona, Russell, Debbie Cook, Columbus, Montana, Mark Cook, Russell, grandchildren Tim Cook, Russell, Audra Henne and her husband Lance, Wichita, Matt Cook, Russell / Hays, Michael Cook, Russell, and great grandchild Paxton Henne as well as a wonderful group of sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren.
During her last year she was cared for by some very special caregivers and the family wishes to express our gratitude and thanks to them as well for making Mary's last year as comfortable, peaceful, and happy as possible.
A celebration of Mary's life will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, September 02, 2014, at the Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell with Pastor Earl Haggard officiating. Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery. Visitation and family greeting will be held the morning before service time. Memorials may be given to the Otterbein United Methodist Church of Russell or the American Heart Association. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.