Jane C. Cooke

November 30, 1931March 26, 2021

Jane C. Cooke (Ritsema), age 89, peacefully went to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, March 26, 2021, with family by her side. She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, F. Clifford Cooke; parents Fred and Nellie Ritsema; brother, Bob Ritsema; sisters-in-law Joan Ritsema and Wilma Ritsema; and grandsons Jesse Buist and Andy Rusticus. She will be deeply missed by her children Barb (Terry) Lutke, Pat (Jack) Buist, Sandra (Dr. Brian) Roelof, Tom (Carlene) Cooke, Dr. Kathy (Dr. Dave Valone) Cooke, Sue (Bob) Snoeyink; grandchildren Chris (Eric) Hakken, Amy (Joe) VandenBerg, Dan (Lindsay) Buist, Dr. Sondra (Kyle) Rosander, Dr. Michael Buist, Wade (Erin) Jansen, Sara (Jeff) DeBoer, David (Sarah) Jansen, Jenn (Brent) Mingerink, Michelle (Matt) Koning, Stephanie (Brad) Sterk, Heather (Dan) DeBoer, Misha Cooke, Tanya Cooke, Alexander “Sasha” Cooke Valone, Megan Snoeyink, Madison Snoeyink; 29 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and her siblings Al Ritsema, Sue (Bob) VandenBosch, Herb Ritsema, Rog (Char) Ritsema, Jim (Jean) Ritsema, sister-in-law Cheryl Ritsema, Bill (Verna) Ritsema.

Jane’s comfort in life and in death was that she belonged to her faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. Her joy was in God’s gift of family, which often combined with her love of sports and social gatherings. She regularly attended sporting and school events with her kids and grandkids, and gathered with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and brothers and sisters as often as possible. The family celebrated annual Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, televised Big Ten rivalries, and the “Cooke Classic” golf outing. Additionally, Jane supported Cliff, and later Tom, on the farm. Together they built a thriving dairy—Sue Lynn Farms—where she was the primary bookkeeper. Jane’s bookkeeping skills began at age 14 when she kept the books for her dad’s and uncle’s plastering businesses. She again used those skills while serving as treasurer of the CRC Rec Center for two terms. Jane actively served the Lord at Dorr CRC where she served as education director, VBS coordinator, and missionary correspondent for many years. She also supported Dorr CRC’s refugee resettlement and served as transporter, translator, babysitter, tutor, job hunter, and mentor. In recent years, Jane was so honored to serve as a board member for her church in Nettles Island, Florida. She was also a committed bocce ball player in the Nettles Island community. Jane and Cliff served the Lord together for over 20 years as volunteers in Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Alaska, Honduras, and Venezuela for Wycliffe Bible Translators, HIS HANDS, and World Renew, where they embraced learning the local culture. Jane loved the ministry of Project Hope where she served as board member, cashier, and greeter. Jane could talk to anyone and never had an unkind word to say. She told wonderful stories, often over a game of Rook. Her sense of humor and generosity were a joy to family and friends. Jane enjoyed golf and even had a hole in one. For many years Jane was a volunteer water aerobics instructor, both at Sandy Pines and in Florida. In 2006 Jane was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Dorr Lion’s Club recognizing her as a role model to her community and family. Jane humbly served her Lord, family, community, and many in need of love and care. Her favorite verse was Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this is not of yourselves—it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” She will be truly missed by all who knew and loved her.

A private family celebration of life service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The service will be livestreamed to Dorr Christian Reformed Church’s Facebook page. In memory of Jane and in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Project Hope or Moline Christian School. The family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online at


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Jane C. Cooke

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sue Vandenbosch

April 6, 2021

Jane was my matron of honor when I was married to Bob Vandenbosch in January 1956. Just before we left for California on our honeymoon Bob asked if anybody asked about where we were staying the first night. I replied that Jane had. He had booked a hotel in Holland and changed our reservation to a hotel in Kalamazoo. It was about 3 AM when we arrived and I sat in the motel with my bridal bouquet on my lap while Bob parked the car. I fell asleep and woke up to see the desk clerks snickering.

Sue Vandenbosch

calvin cooke

April 4, 2021

I remember when my brother Cliff was engaged to be married to Jane. I was 7 years old and living on the farm on 146th St in Dorr. It was a Spring Evening in April of 1951 shortly before they were married. It was getting dark and suddenly I heard instruments of all kinds making noises. I thought Jesus was returning to earth and it was the second coming. I remember Lois Smallegan(Klamer) saying to me: "Cal it is ok, we are just asking them to give a party, this is a Chivalry." What a memory and yes Jane is now with my brother and all the other loved ones gone before. I grew up in a loving family and I pray for all. I have many a memory and probably of all the family living on the Cooke side knew Jane longer than any. On this Easter Sunday what a blessing indeed to know that we serve a Risen Saviour and our loved ones live because Christ Jesus lives. I pray Abba Father will give comfort to all at this time.

Katie Kuiper

April 3, 2021

Loosing a parent is so hard. May God wrap his loving arms around you & your family & comfort you.

Nick and Pat Kokx

April 3, 2021

Sandy and Brian......know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Six years ago, on Easter Sunday, we lost my mom. She, however, has never been gone from our lives. Every day she is there in a memory, a grandchild, a strawberry pie or even a sale at Meijer! You are blessed to have her live in your heart forever.
Pat and Nick

Gary Siegersma

April 3, 2021

So sorry for your loss will miss seeing her smiling face at Sandy Pines she was a real blessing so glad she is a part of the family of God

Kim Langlois

April 2, 2021

Heaven gained an Angel, always loved to visit and catch up with Jane most recently last October at State Equestrian finals in Midland! She always was a positive lady with a great smile! Prayers for you all. The John Langlois family

Virginia Van Putten

April 2, 2021

Our memories with the Cooke family goes back many many years. Jane was a true friend to all who knew her. Cliff and Jane raised an amazing family. We love them all and send very heartfelt sympathy to all of them. Rog and Jinger VanPutten

Vanda & Don Edington

April 2, 2021

Sandy & Brian and your families,

What a wonderful job preparing your mom's obituary. While I only know her because of you I see so much of her in you Sandy. Your likeness, your love of the Lord, you ability to talk to anyone, making a friend in an instant, and shepherding your family.
What an amazing life she led. And how many grand kids??? Thirty! Wow. Bless you all as you remember her.

Sherri Gonzales

March 31, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Find comfort that auntie is with Uncle Cliff again.

Love to all,
Sherri (Cooke) Gonzales

Janice McGee (Seif)

March 29, 2021

Your mother and grandmother was a special person, who was always very active in Dorr CRC and with school. She continued her Christian ministry with your dad for many years after your dad retired from farming. What a wonderful Christian legacy she leaves for all her generations following her. Our prayers and sympathy go with you. May you feel God’s everlasting love, comfort and peace. Jan (Seif) and Ron McGee