At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Zion Lutheran Church
2122 Bronson Boulevard
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
State Hospital Ministry
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Cindy Cook was a loving wife, devoted mother, and special grandmother. A generous person, for the past forty years she was devoted to the Kalamazoo State Hospital residents she prepared special meals for once a month, and served them weekly at church services. She served the residents until she was no longer physically able. A true people person, Cindy was a friend to many and a stranger to none. A natural nurturer, she made everyone feel comfortable in her presence. She simply adored her sweet family and shared so much of herself with each and every one of them. Cindy leaves behind a warm collection of fond memories and her caring ways for her loved ones to cherish for generations to come.
So much of the 1940s were characterized by WWII. It’s hard to explain how much of an impact the war had on all aspects of life. Many basic items such as sugar, butter, meat, and gasoline were rationed to ensure that everyone’s needs were met. It was a time of great significance in our nation. By 1945, just a few months before the war officially ended in Europe, Cindy took her first breath on July 8th in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Born sixteen years after her older brother, Wayne, she brought great joy to the family home. Her parents modeled hard work as both of them worked outside the home. Her dad Milford Dinges was a salesman and her mom Marian Helmer Deplanche worked in payroll at Green Bay Packaging.
A lifetime resident of the community she loved, Cindy attended Catholic schools before transferring to Portage Central High School. Graduating with the Class of 1963, she met the love of her life and her husband of more than 53 years, Bill Cook at a local roller skating rink. Eager to spend the rest of their lives together, they married on April 4, 1964 at Zion Lutheran Church. They settled into a home on Austin Lake and didn’t waste any time starting their family of four children right away! Amy, Greg, Scott, and Brett brought so much delight into their hearts from the moment they were born. Cindy was a very affectionate mother and enjoyed her role immensely over the years. There simply wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for them!
Extremely passionate about anything she set her mind to doing, she treasured making each and every holiday special. Cindy loved to adorn the house with decorations at each season and loved planning all the details from memorable Easter egg hunts, to wrapping her packages in creative ways and making sure there was a fun and engaging game to play in order to make the surprises last! She’d even go out of her way to make special dishes that the family loved. She was an excellent cook and never needed a recipe, she’d just poured her own love into everything she made for her family! She was mostly known for her beer dogs, great homemade pies, and macaroni and cheese.
In addition to crafting for years, she loved decorating and shopping at her favorite stores: Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and the Fruit Basket in Grand Rapids to find the most unique treasures. She had a real knack for both decorating and entertaining! In addition to keeping her home magazine-worthy, Cindy was an avid photographer. She loved to take pictures of nature and some of their amazing trips to Alaska over the years. Having traveled there five times, Cindy never grew tired of spotting the Grizzlies in the wild or visiting Alaska’s diverse terrains. Many of these special memories or events are captured forever in her generous collection of scrapbooks, which she enjoyed creating alongside her daughter and granddaughters.
Music was the kindle to her fire. She loved Elvis, John Denver, the Oakridge Boys, and Eagles. She was lucky enough to meet John Denver and was the President of his fan club for many years. Cindy was such a courageous spirit that she was known to camp out for tickets to her favorite shows for two to three days!
She and Bill had the most special relationship. Over the years, they enjoyed bowling and had traveled all over the beautiful United States. He would gladly help make the wood parts for her crafts that she would paint. They both equally enjoyed their flower garden and keeping up their beautiful yard together. For years, as their kids were growing up they would join other couples and groups of their closest friends to go camping. Each Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day they looked forward to sharing a campfire and good laughter with their special friends. When grandchildren began filling their home, they loved to treat them to anything they wanted. These memories are what they looked forward to as Brittany, Luke, Zachary, William, Nicholas, Joshua, Katie, and Jordan meant the world to them. When they were younger, Cindy loved to take them to McDonald’s Play Place, Chuck E Cheese, out for ice cream, or anywhere else their hearts desired. She also loved to watch them enjoying themselves on their swing in the backyard which still hangs there today, over 24 years later. She would enjoy card games, sporting events, band concerts, musicals, and family gatherings. Everyone knew she was there sitting in the front with her camera flashing and a smile on her face. Watching her grandchildren grow brought happiness into her heart.
Cindy was generous beyond measure, and her diagnosis with kidney, pancreatic, and liver cancer was devastating news to a woman of good health. She fought her battle with such grace and ease over the past two and a half years by always showing up with her makeup and hair done, she was able to attend her first granddaughters' wedding in April. She even went out for breakfast during her last weeks. Her amazing faith, her incredible strength, and her unconditional love for all will be greatly missed.
Cindy Cook, age 71, died at her home on May 22, 2017. Cindy is survived by her husband of 53 years: Bill Cook; their daughter Amy (Todd) Johnston; Greg Cook, Scott (Amy) Cook, Brett (Nancy) Cook; and her grandchildren: Brittany (Jay) Morrow, Luke Johnston, Joshua, Katie, Zachary, William, Jordan, and Nicholas Cook.Cremation will take place. Visit with family and friend on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 4 – 8pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900, where services will be held Thursday 11am. Please visit her personal webpage at www.betzlerfuneralhome.com where you can sign her guest book, leave a memory or share photos. Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church for State Hospital Ministry or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.