Mary Lou Cook, 84, of Viking, MN, died on Thursday, February 13, 2020, in Thief River Falls (MN) Care Center.
Mary Lou was born on June 6, 1935, to Jessie G. Smith, in Franklin County, North Carolina. Her birth name was “Sarah Lee,” but she never went by it, the whole family preferring Mary Lou. She was raised by her mother and stepfather, William Radford, and lived in North Carolina her whole childhood. As a young woman, Mary Lou went on a trip to Maryland with her aunt and uncle, and stopped in a bar for a bite and to listen to some music. It was there that her life changed forever: she met Gale B. Cook, a guitar player in the band, who walked over to her (on top of the bar) and struck up a conversation. The two fell head-over-heels and were married just a few months later on May 7, 1960. Gale was serving in the US Navy at the time, and Mary Lou kept their home in Maryland, where they had their first daughter.
The family moved back to Carolina, where their second daughter was born, then to Gale's hometown in Minnesota in 1964, where she had their third daughter. Mary Lou made Viking her home for the rest of her life but never lost her Southern roots (or her accent). She kept up her relationships with her family and friends in North Carolina and was blessed to help her mother in her final illness. She worked at the Coast to Coast and Ben Franklin stores in Warren, and sold Shaklee products on the side (and earned not one but two cars). Mary Lou's favorite hobbies included sewing and crocheting. Gale would find her up sewing at 6 AM most mornings and she made all sorts of crafts in addition to western shirts, polka outfits, and other clothing. Mary Lou had a lifelong passion for music and dancing. We have great hope that she is dancing once again in her new life.
Mary Lou is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, 9 months, and 6 days, Gale; daughters, Sharon Lou (Sam Taur) Cook, Theressa Roná (Steve Koralewski) Cook, and Angela Beth (William) Mallison; grandchildren, Tony Byron, Brandi Nicole, David Gale, Krystal Hope, and Jamie Lynn; and great-grandchildren, Destinee Hope, Desmond Zeke, Kylie Roná, Amberlynn Fern, and Oliver Nicklias. She will also be greatly missed by the casino, where she spent many happy hours losing money.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jessie and William; parents-in-law; and brother-in-law, Alan Cook.
FUNERAL SERVICE: Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 10:30 AM, in the Evangelical Covenant Church, Warren, MN.
VISITATION: Monday evening, February 17, from 5:00-7:00 PM, in DuBore Funeral Home Chapel, Warren; and one hour prior to the funeral service at the church.
INTERMENT: Following lunch, in Viking Cemetery, Viking, MN.
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