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RUTH M. COOKE

RALEIGH - Ruth M. Cooke, 91, formerly of Louisburg, died May 8th, 2017, at the Oaks at Whitaker Glen-Mayview in Raleigh, NC.

She was born January 9th, 1926, in Northampton County, the youngest of five children born to the late Jacob Ernest and Myrtle Bazemore Cooke. Raised in Aulander, NC, Ruth graduated from Aulander High School in 1943, from the Woman's College of The University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in 1947, and received her Master's degree from Columbia University in 1958.

After receiving her undergraduate degree, she taught Health and Physical Education for two years at a high school in Lexington, VA. In 1949, she was offered what turned out to be the perfect job -- teaching and coaching at Louisburg College.

Upon retirement in 1988, the college named Ruth "faculty emerita." The Ruth Cooke Gardens were a gift to the College from her family in 2007, and in 2010, she was inducted into the Louisburg College Hurricanes Hall of Fame. She traveled the globe with her first cousins Mary Cooke Williford and Pauline S. Tayloe, her brother and sister-in-law, Ernest and Jean Cooke, and her dear friend and house-mate of 64 years, Sarah Foster. Never one to sit idly by, she created a small venture she called "Ruth's Rustics"; Ruth would build bird houses, Sarah would paint them, and the two traveled to craft fairs to sell their creations. Also of joy was the annual Louisburg get-together with Ruth's sisters and cousins to watch the ACC Tournament, as well as attending local performances at JPAC and Norris Theatre. She cherished her time spent working in her yard, with a healthy dose of affection for her riding mowers, which surely kept them working well (sometimes). Her favorite flowers were the beautiful Calla and Day Lilies. Beyond these occupations, she also enjoyed having a poodle to love.

Louisburg provided Ruth a place of joyful contentment for 65 years. She was grateful for the privilege to teach at Louisburg College, for her colleagues, her students, her friends and neighbors, and for the kindness found in her town.

Ruth is survived by her sister-in-law, Jean Gordon Cooke of Lyme, NH; niece, Margaret Miller Holbrook of High Point, NC; niece, Patricia Miller Howell and her husband, Larry, of Durham, NC; nephew, John L. Eddy and wife Susan of Trenton & Salisbury, NC; nephew, Jacob E. Cooke III and wife Elizabeth of Lyme, NH; as well as four great- nieces and six great-nephews.

The family especially thanks the following at the Oaks at Whitaker Glen-Mayview for their great care: the nursing staff, William Dunlap M.D., Clinical Dietary Manager Donald Jones, therapist Tessa Smith, recreation director Michael Conte, Mary Harris in Housekeeping, the visiting therapy dogs and their thoughtful owners, the many caring individuals from Transitions LifeCare of Wake County, the physical therapist, and Mrs. Oliver, a previous employee at The Oaks.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 8th, 2017, at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon in the Benson Chapel at Louisburg College, Louisburg, NC.

In honor of Ruth, donations can be made in support of Louisburg College, 501 N. Main Street, Louisburg, NC 27549.

Arrangements by Lancaster Funeral and Cremation Services, 804 N. Bickett Boulevard, Louisburg. Online condolences may be made to www.lancasterfcs.com.

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