Ettamae Grace Cook, 95, died on September 29, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Her funeral service will begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, October 3, 2020 at the Strode Funeral Home Chapel. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of arrangements.
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Ettamae was born on March 9, 1925 to Charles and Grace Marlow in Enid, Oklahoma.
Ettamae Grace Cook lived the life that most Oklahomans did during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl years. One of frugality, endurance, and making do with what you had, and those traits followed her throughout her life. In spite of all the hardship, she had fond memories of her childhood. When she watched "The Waltons" on television, she would usually end up in happy tears due to all the similarities with her life.
She was raised by her father, Charles Marlow, and her maternal grandmother, Etta May Moore. Her mother, Grace May Marlow, died shortly after giving birth to her. Ettamae profoundly felt the loss of her young mother all of her life.
Red headed Ettamae was married April 20th, 1943 to Donald Earl Cook during their Senior Prom. Don had been called up to go to war and they wanted to be married before he left.
Ettamae was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother and it was those roles which gave her life true meaning. With her husband, Don, she raised three daughters, Kay, Linda, and Sherry while living on a farm outside of Pond Creek, Oklahoma. She and Don also owned the Dairy Treat, and later a cafe in downtown Pond Creek, which cemented EttaMae's legacy of always making sure that the people she loved were well fed... whether they wanted to be or not. Both restaurants were where people, young and old, congregated. In the summer time, they remained open until 2am. They were a favorite of local harvest crews... both for the food and atmosphere. Ettamae and Don were a large part of the Pond Creek community.
Ettamae was a worker, both at home and outside it. She had a huge garden for most of her life. She enjoyed canning and preserving. She loved trying new recipes. Her old cookbooks were full of recipes cut from newspapers and magazines. She was always a "from scratch" cook. When she hosted family holiday dinners, she made sure to make everyone's favorite dish. That meant there were at least ten extra sides to the normal dinner. She always made at least three different kinds of pie. There were leftovers for days. It was impossible to enter her home and not be offered something to eat or drink.
Due to running a hamburger joint for a good portion of her life, she remained partial to a well-made, greasy-spoon hamburger. She was well known for taking her grandchildren for hamburgers and onion rings instead of the homecooked meal she had planned. That was more fun and she lived to spoil her grandbabies. Later in life, those same grandchildren smuggled hamburgers and cherry limeades to her.
Ettamae and Don loved to fish. They went on fishing vacations and Ettamae was in heaven... cooking fish breaded in cornmeal over a campfire. She was content to eat a bologna or ham sandwich, while fishing at sunset, more than any other entertainment in the world.
When her husband Don started work in Enid, they moved there and began a new life of living "in the big town". Ettamae would get up early to make her husband breakfast, pack his dinner in the same silver lunchbox, and then drive him to work. She would pick him up every afternoon. Even though they had left the farm, they brought part of it with them by having a huge garden in their backyard. The oldest grandkids were paid pennies for picking weeds.
Ettamae and Don were able to do some traveling; mostly to see their daughters, grandchildren and extended family. Ettamae spent at least a month in Galveston as a child because her grandmother enjoyed it. As a young mother, she and Don travelled with their girls to see Niagra Falls as well as visit family in Indiana and Illinois. They also traveled to England and Scotland while Kay's family lived there. There was also a month-long RV trip to Yellowstone Park and surrounding states including California. She also spent time with Sherry and Paul in Branson going trout fishing.
When her oldest daughter, Kay's family, moved to England, Ettamae and Don adopted their Pomeranian, Spunky. There has never been a more spoiled and more loved dog on this earth. EttaMae took Spunky to "get her hair done" at the same time she was getting hers done. Spunky would come home with bows in her hair and painted nails. Don would just chuckle at them both.
Besides her family and Spunky, Ettamae loved her Cowboys, the Dallas Cowboys and the OSU Cowboys. She also loved the Arkansas Razorbacks. She will be remembered always for hollering "Go Man Go!" at the television during the exciting plays. She was a diehard fan of the teams even during the bad years. She was the proud owner of a piece of Dallas astroturf. Her piece was exactly where Tom Landry stood. At least, that is what she hoped. Even in her final weeks, she was looking forward to football and basketball season.
After Don passed away, Ettamae moved to Fayetteville, AR and then later to Stillwater, OK. She was regularly visited by her daughters, grandchildren and friends. She kept herself busy with embroidery, reading, watching sports, fishing, and learning new crafts like pottery.
She had four grandchildren: Deeder Wyn Messemer, Sheldy Applebutton, Jamer Donner, and Justin Wustin. The rest of the world knew them as Deidra, Michelle, Jamie and Justin. They were her pride and joy and she bragged about them to anyone who would listen.
Ettamae Grace Cook was a beautiful redhead who loved hard and always tried to see the good in everyone. Her happy "Howdy-do!" always made her family smile. She will be remembered with love, looking harried -but smiling, busy cooking in her kitchen for a houseful of her loved ones. She was in her element and in those moments, she was most content.