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Life Story / Obituary
Selfless and bubbly, Lynn Cook lived a life rich in family and friends. A humble woman who welcomed each day as a gift and every person as a friend, Lynn lived a wholehearted life. She enjoyed nothing more than spending time with family and socializing with friends. Never one to "sweat the small stuff," Lynn was innately positive and always recognized the blessings in her life. A supportive and encouraging wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Lynn inspired all who were blessed to know her to do the same. Though she will be deeply missed, Lynn's beautiful, loving legacy will be proudly carried on in the hearts and lives of those she so dearly loved.
1951 proved a year of increased comforts and exciting new possibilities. While unemployment dropped to 3.3% the nation additionally celebrated the first direct-dial trans-coastal phone call, easier travel in more comfortable cars and on newly paved interstates, and the premieres of "I Love Lucy," "The Day The Earth Stood Still," and "An American in Paris." Nowhere was the sense of hope for the future more celebrated than in the Grand Rapids home of Elwood and Edith (Macullar) Cain as they welcomed their daughter Lynn into their family on December 28.
Growing up during the 50s and 60s, Lynn enjoyed a childhood rooted in family values. Her father worked as a tire salesman for Firestone, while her mother worked as a local school librarian. The youngest of the Cains' four children, Lynn possessed a naturally playful personality and a bit of a mischievous side. Many of her days were spent racing around the neighborhood. She loved to run and could beat anyone in a race. From her earliest days, she collected dolls, a passion she held throughout her entire lifetime.
After graduating from Grand Rapids Central High School, Lynn attended Grand Rapids Community College. She then transferred to Western Michigan University. Lynn Worked at a department store selling jewelry during her college years. Upon graduating with her Bachelor's degree, Lynn found work at Johnson and Dean, an advertising firm in Grand Rapids.
Lynn had the good fortune of being set up by a mutual friend on a blind date with Frank Cook. Their first date ended with a delicious meal at Gino's Pizza. Afterwards Frank commented to his friend that he was falling in love. Lynn was sweet as sugar, tough as nails, and had a caring personality. A few months after they met, Lynn fell on the ice and broke her elbow. Because her car didn't have power steering, Frank gave her his, a chivalrous gesture that Lynn never forgot. The happy couple soon married and honeymooned in New York City, as the couple had longed dreamed of seeing the sites, including the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. They traveled in Frank's new van that sported a vibrant mural on its sides and earned them lots of looks along the way.
In time, Lynn and Frank were blessed to welcome two children to their family. Kimberly and Eric were the center of Lynn's world, and she took great pride in providing them a loving and supportive home. Their biggest fan, Lynn never missed a special event; she enthusiastically cheered them on from the bleachers or from folding chair. Lynn naturally brought her fun mischievous side to her parenting, often allowing her kids to get away with things, playfully instructing them with a, "but don't tell your dad" approach. She truly loved laughing with her kids as they had fun, even if they were being just a little bit naughty. She even taught them how to properly shoot spitballs.
The quintessential hostess, Lynn had many pool parties and pig roasts during the summer. She enjoyed decorating for all the holidays, helping her family celebrate in style. She went all out for every season, displaying her knickknacks and treasures. She loved to garden and carefully enveloped the pool with flowers. Lynn continued to grow her doll collection. She enjoyed buying and selling dolls at auctions or flea markets and had an entire room in her home devoted to her collection. For many years the family also held season tickets to the Kalamazoo Wings, and they took many trips to their timeshare in Florida.
Frank worked as a 7-Up distributor in sales; he even operated a few distributorships over the years in Schoolcraft and Paw Paw. His hard work afforded many spectacular vacations. He won many trips, and they were rewarded with adventures in Japan, Austria, Germany, and Monaco Bay. In the last 15 years, they had a cottage on Wolf Lake and spent many days on the water in the pontoon boat or sitting on the porch and looking over the water.
Lynn was a person who naturally saw the beauty in any moment. Despite the challenges that came with rheumatoid arthritis, she firmly held onto her belief that "no matter the hand you're dealt, live it the best you can." She found joy in bird watching, especially her pet parakeet, and watching her favorite shows. She stayed current on the hip and popular shows, often recording her favorites, including Grey's Anatomy. She enjoyed listening to the classic songs of Whitney Houston and Michael Bolton, and treasured the memory of seeing Bill Cosby at Miller Auditorium with her son many years ago.
Beautiful and vibrant, Lynn relished in talking with people. With a beautiful smile and a warm heart, she could inspire even the most committed curmudgeon to smile. Never one to complain, Lynn always chose to concentrate on the gifts she was given versus paying too much mind to the challenges and disappointments in life. She never hesitated to give of her time and talents in an effort to lighten another's burdens and inspired laughter everywhere she went. Without a doubt, life was always better for sharing it with Lynn.
While it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Lynn's steadfast presence, may we be comforted by our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in knowing that we carry the gift of Lynn's legacy in our hearts and lives. With each moment we greet a stranger as a friend, meet a challenge with grace, delight in a bit of silliness, or watch a sunset with our beloved, we celebrate Lynn's love and light. In this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.
Lynn Cook, age 68, died on February 5, 2020. Surviving are her husband of nearly 45 years, Frank; children: Kimberly Cook and Eric (Jessica) Cook; granddaughter: Ruby; siblings: Rick (Jan) Cain, Nancy (Alan) VanDyke, and Janice (Mark) Feighner; several nieces and nephews, and a vast yet priceless collection of dolls. Visit with family and friends from 2-4 PM on Sunday (FEB 9) at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy, Paw Paw (269) 375-2900. A reception will follow at 120 Taphouse & Bistro, 120 E Michigan Ave, Paw Paw. Burial will take place at Cedar Springs Cemetery. Please visit Lynn's personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read her Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook. Memorial donations may be directed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.