OBITUARY

Leah Ruth Cooke

July 22, 1952May 8, 2019

Leah Ruth Cooke July 22, 1952 – May 8, 2019

Loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and friend passed away peacefully at her home May 8, 2019 after a long battle with injuries and illnesses including COPD.

She was born July 22, 1952 to Joseph Thomas and Ruth Christiansen Gittins in Salt Lake City and had 11 brothers and sisters. The early part of her life was full of the unique challenges that come from living in a large family.

She started a new chapter in her life on March 21,1968 when she married John Eugene Cooke. The newlywed couple set out to make their own lives. Their new life would be free, exciting and forged by their own hands. Soon they welcomed a son, John, into their little family.

Early life was exhilarating. The summer sun shone bright and warm. The magic of autumn brought bright colors, warm drinks, family dinners, and Halloween.

The special experiences that came with each season could not compare to the joy of bringing home another son, James, in 1970.

Leah held her new family close, while keeping the best parts of her old life near, as well. She was welcomed into her husband's extended family, and all of them quickly became a circle of friends.

The road of life was never short on happiness. Every season had its own celebrations. Over every hill lay a new destination to look forward to. Weekend camping trips, family birthday parties, picnics in the park, thunderstorms in the spring, and of course fireworks in the summer.

1976 would bring the country's bicentennial and the birth of a much loved daughter, Carrie.

Life went on, as it does, and Leah, with her husband, did their best to keep the magic in their lives and happiness in their hearts.

Our family had its fair share of challenges and despair along the way, but Leah always kept the hope alive. She gave anything she had happily, willingly and freely. One of her biggest regrets was that she didn't have more to give.

Naturally, the road of life turned more rough and dark. The blessings of a large family also brings its own share of grief. Despite the turn in fortune, Leah strove to focus on the blessing—and there were many blessings. There were graduations, weddings, more birthdays, new family members, and of course grandchildren. She was always so excited to welcome a new grandchild to the family. Leah has often said, “I was an aunt as soon as I was born. I adore getting to be a grandma.”

Leah and John were married for more than 51 years. They have 3 children, 6 grandchildren 5 adopted grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

She was proud of every single person in her family. She couldn't believe what a privilege it was to be related to such a diverse group of people who had such unique talents and who brought such new excitement into everyone's lives.

She was also proud to have been able to walk through life shoulder to shoulder with her dear husband. They balanced each other out, and together they managed solve their problems, each one bringing their own strengths to help bear the burdens of life.

She valued every person that she ever knew. She loved anyone who gave her a smile. She would thank everyone she ever met for adding something special to her life.

She wished to be cremated, and a memorial party will be held in her honor at a later date.

Memories

Leah Ruth Cooke

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Loree Morris

May 14, 2019

I worked with Leah at Selecthealth for over 30 years. I was so sad to hear of her death! She was a hard worker preferring to work early mornings to my late mornings. We we opposites in many ways but got along so very well. Leah was very smart and caught on to complex medical coding issues and claims review issues so fast, I was always in awe of her. I wish I had kept in touch more after she retired. I will miss her very much and my deepest sympathy to all her many family members that I know she loved very much!

LESLIE COLEMAN

May 13, 2019

It was so hard to hear that Aunt Leah had passed. I loved her very much. She always had the sweetest smile and had the best sense of humor. Whenever the family was together we would always be laughing and having a wonderful time. Aunt Leah had a great heart. I don't ever remember seeing her mad, and her gentle spirit made everyone around her feel good -no matter what the situation. My heart goes out to my Uncle Jay - I know how much he will miss her.... My deepest condolences to my cousins , John, James, & Carrie - and all the grands and greats. Aunt Leah was a great wife, mom, sister, aunt, grandma, gg, and friend, and I know she is in a better place with no more pain.

Karolyn Kelson

May 12, 2019

Such a beautiful obituary , such a wonderful aunt we had so many good times . I will never forget all the family fun we use to have . I love this family , it’s so hard to loose parents but I know she is not hurting anymore .. love you guys

Janell Euler

May 10, 2019

What an awesome obituary! Very well written. It's really hard to loose a mom, grandma and sister. Every family member is a loss. Sorry I didn't get to spend more time talking and messaging her. But she was always happy and sweet to talk to My prayers are with her and your family. She is with her mom that she missed so much !

Eleanor Brown

May 10, 2019

Our thoughts are prayers are with the family at this time. She was a special lady.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY