Valerie Marie Cook
November 16, 2023
Valerie Marie Cook, 93, passed away peacefully at her Mason Lake home in the company of family on October 23, 2023. During her last weeks, she attended a family gathering on Mercer Island, met her newborn great granddaughter Adelyn on FaceTime, viewed the final printing of her personal Memoirs and was able to say good-bye to many family members and friends.
Valerie was born February 10, 1930 to Muriel and Sheridan Dever in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her childhood was split between farm life in Saskatchewan and Sooke, on Vancouver Island, until 1941 when her parents bought a house in Mission, British Columbia. Valerie graduated from Mission High in 1947, where she was crowned Mission's Strawberry Queen. She attended the College of Puget Sound where she met Archie "Arch" Cook the fall of 1947. She transferred to Oregon State University, joined the Alpha Phi Sorority, and graduated with honors in June 1951, and in August she married Arch Cook in Mission City, B.C. After 57 years together, her beloved Arch passed away in 2008. They raised four children: Ron, Cathy, Robert, and Bill.
Valerie enjoyed teaching English and Home Economics at Kent Jr. High, where students affectionately called her "Mrs. Bake." Valerie was famous for her delicious blackberry pies! After retiring from teaching, she started a new career in Real Estate and became known as "The Cooker" because of her hard work in the Renton/Seattle area. After Arch retired from Boeing, Arch and Valerie built their retirement home on Mason Lake, and they worked as a Real Estate team, licensed in both Washington and later, also in Hawaii.
In 1964 Arch and Valerie bought their first of three Mason Lake properties. Starting out in tents, adding a trailer and finally building the summer cabin, it was always a large gathering place for family and friends. Early morning waterskiing was a family affair and Valerie continued to slalom ski until she was 65. In the 1980's, Hawaii became their winter home for decades, as they purchased various condos in Makaha before settling in Ko Olina, Oahu.
Arch and Valerie loved to golf at LakeLand Village, Allyn, (where Valerie won the Anderson Ace) and in Hawaii (where Valerie got a hole-in-one at West Loch Golf Course in 2003). There were cross-country car trips, one with the whole family to New York and back through Canada in 1968, and another through the southern states to Key West. Valerie and Arch traveled extensively through Europe, Australia, New Zealand and numerous cruises throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Nova Scotia and Alaska. She was also keenly interested in her ancestry as many of her travels involved tracing the roots of her ancestors who came from France, Ireland, the Island of Jersey and then migrated to Cobourg, Ontario.
Valerie is survived by her younger sister Lula Reed, four children Ron (Delores), Catherine (Rick Galvin), Robert and Bill (Marisa), grandchildren Blake (Britney), Chase, Sam and Kalina, and great grandchildren Logan and Adelyn.
Valerie had a zest for life like no other. Most important to Valerie was getting family together and connecting with the many friends she made throughout her life. Games and cards were a passion she enjoyed teaching and playing with family, friends and especially her grandchildren. She always emphasized the importance of love, family, enduring friendships and she started each day with gratitude and positivity. Her family and many friends will miss her wonderful smile, generosity and kindness. Valerie will be laid to rest next to her husband, Arch, at Tahoma National Cemetery, with a Celebration of Life to follow in late March 2024.