(JONES ) COOK
December 12, 1924
Arwilla Jones Cook was born on December 12, 1924 in Albemarle, North Carolina, the daughter of Willie and Grace Jones. Her mother passed away before Arwilla was one year old, so she and her two older siblings, Howard and Venus, moved to an old plantation where her grandmother lived. This grandmother taught Arwilla the importance of kindness and equality to people of all races and walks of life. When her father remarried, the children moved in with this new couple, and life became difficult; however, Arwilla persevered by pouring herself into school.
Arwilla graduated as the valedictorian of her high school class. Upon graduation, her siblings surprised her with an enrollment into the business college in High Point. NC. After finishing her secretarial degree, Arwilla was hired by the War Department.
In May 1944, she and a friend visited Washington DC where she met Stanley Cook, a GI on a weekend furlough. Arwilla and Stan immediately hit it off. Smitten, Stan and Arwilla began a daily correspondence that soon turned romantic. From the front lines in France, he wrote daily, even after an explosion severed his right radial nerve. But that did not deter him from writing to Arwilla; he learned how to write left-handed. They continued correspondence from the hospital in London, where he had surgery to mend his arm, and from his home in upstate New York. That winter, Stan's father arranged for Arwilla to take the long train ride from North Carolina to visit Stan, and they became engaged.
On June 2, 1945 they married in North Carolina and made a home in North Tonawanda, NY. Stan taught her to drive. She purchased a sewing machine and learned to make clothes for the whole family. Stan built a house across the street from his parents where their children George and Patricia were born. In 1953, the family moved to Colorado because Stan had grown to love it while stationed at Camp Carson.
Stan built a beautiful house for his family in Colorado Springs where he and Arwilla lived out their nearly seventy-one years of marriage.
Arwilla was a wonderful mother who read to her children every night at bedtime. She loved poetry and was a stickler for good grammar: no aint's or improper sentences allowed. A stay-at-home mom until her kids went to school, Arwilla then applied her exceptional secretarial skills to employment in School District 11, where she worked in the offices at Buena Vista Elementary for five years and Palmer High for twenty-three. She was a beloved part of the community and found great camaraderie there. She retired because she said, "My skills aren't as good as they used to be. I'll step down for someone younger."
She and Stan retired in 1985 and traveled across the country visiting old friends and family and exploring new vistas. They cooked together, walked daily, and returned to square dancing, which they had done decades earlier.
Arwilla was a lifelong learner. Over the years she took a variety of classes in everything from
handwriting analysis to cake decorating to personal computing to yoga.
She told her family that if anything happened to dad, she would like to try living in a retirement home so she could remain social. After Stan died in 2016, she moved into Brookdale Monument Valley Park, which became a wonderful place for her to live. She especially enjoyed the weekly scenic drives and making new friends.
She was an attentive and loving and ever-generous grandmother to Nathaniel, Jessica and Andrew. She spent her summer vacations taking them to visit all the attractions that Colorado Springs offers, as well as the countless hours she spent playing with, talking to, reading to, caring for and being all things to them, all that they would want from a grandmother, most of all: love.
This love and her ever-generous heart were not restricted to her children and grand-children. She was a person who cared for and about her neighbors, friends and, truly, any one in need. Her heart truly hurt in sympathy and more with the pain and trials of anyone, and she was always willing to give and share with those in need.
We will miss her every day but will take comfort in the fact that she is now with Stan. RIP, you two lovebirds.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Alzheimer's Association
, 2313 Bott Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904.