L. Louise Cook (91) passed peacefully in her home at Lake of the Woods, VA on April 5th, 2020. Louise and her husband, Ralph, moved to the Lake in 1986. Prior to that time, they lived in Northern VA and visited a weekend cottage they had built at the Lake in 1973. Ralph passed away in 2015, and Louise remained in their home until her death.
Louise was born in 1929 to Euclide and Lillian Gendron and grew up in the town of Charlton, MA. She attended Clark University in Worcester, MA, where she met her future husband, Ralph E. Cook. She graduated from Clark with a degree in Biology and received her MEd from Tufts University in Boston, MA. In 1951, Louise and Ralph were married and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. From 1951-1953 Mrs. Cook taught at the Holton Arms School in DC. The Cooks lived in Alexandria and Springfield, VA from 1951 until 1986 and raised four children. In 1975, Louise returned to work, running a laboratory for an inner city pediatric clinic in Southeast DC founded by Dr. F. Burton Graves. She continued this work until 1980.
Louise Cook is survived by her four children and their spouses: Linda C. Austin and husband, Stephen, of Stafford; Deborah Fontaine Otwell and husband, James, also of Stafford; Ralph E, Cook, Jr. of Colonial Beach; John D. Cook and wife, Donna, of Catlett, VA. Louise is also survived by her sister, Phyllis Bubeck of Delray Beach, FL, formerly a resident of Lake of the Woods, VA. In addition, she is survived by 10 grandchildren, five great grandchildren, as well as two nieces and their families. She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Ralph E. Cook, Sr. in November 2015.
Louise Cook participated in many organizations throughout her life. In Springfield, she was active in the American Association of University Women and the Edsall Park Garden Club, serving as its President. When her children were young, she was involved in both the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts. She was a member of the Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale, VA and enjoyed delivering meals to the elderly through the Meals on Wheels program. At Lake of the Woods, she was a member of the Garden Club and served as President of that organization. Both she and her husband were active participants at the Lake of the Woods Church for many years.
During her life, Mrs. Cook enjoyed gardening, crafts, bridge, bowling, and the natural world around us. She was an avid reader, an expert seamstress, an excellent cook, and created award winning floral arrangements. She and Ralph traveled widely in North America as well in Europe, Central America, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, as early as 1999 (at age 70), Mrs. Cook began to show signs of confusion, and she was officially diagnosed with dementia in 2004. As her abilities declined, Ralph and the rest of the family managed to care for her in her home with the help of various caregiving services. The family would like to thank the many individuals who attended to Mrs. Cook’s needs through the years, providing compassionate in-home care which enabled her to live safely and comfortably in her home until her passing.
A Celebration of Life ceremony will take place at a later date. Interment will eventually take place at Arlington National Cemetery. Johnson Funeral Home of Locust Grove, VA is assisting the family with arrangements. Online guestbook available at johnsoncares.com. The family has suggested any memorial contributions be sent to Living Water Community Clinic, P.O. 583, Locust Grove, VA 22508.