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Friday, January 19, 2024
11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)
Saturday, January 20, 2024
11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)
God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “The farmer needs a caretaker.” So, on the 9th day, God made a Farmer’s wife.
Little did Howard Meredith and Minnie Beatrice (Oliver) Emery know that their baby girl Lee Wanda born on June 23, 1927, would one day be a farmer’s wife. Lee Wanda was born in Parsons, Kansas where her family resided, later moving to Coffeyville when she was still very young. She attended grade school in Coffeyville and graduated from Field Kindley Memorial High School.
After graduation, Lee Wanda worked as an operator for Southwestern Bell with no thoughts of ever being a farmer’s wife. Unbeknownst to Lee Wanda the love story was just beginning when a couple of friends set Lee Wanda up on a blind date with Donald Eugene “Gene” Cooke. After five years of courtship, the couple eloped on March 8, 1947, in Independence, Kansas. The couple made their home in rural Coffeyville, and she became a full-time farm wife. Gene preceded her in death on February 21, 2021, after 74 years of marriage.
God beautifully and wonderfully created Lee Wanda to be the perfect help mate as a farmer’s wife for Gene. Where Gene was Lee Wanda was right there working beside him on the family farm. After his death, with the help of her children she continued to keep the farm operational and continued to raise their herd of cattle. Together they harvested pecans and had a pecan cracking business for several years until the flood of 2007. Lee Wanda enjoyed picking the meat from pecans and found it to be quite relaxing. Never setting idle for you could find Lee Wanda mowing the lawn, feeding cattle, in the vegetable or flower garden, driving the grain truck during the harvest season, running for parts, helping in the fields, fixing a favorite harvest meal of Savory Hot Hamburgers, fresh corn on the cob from the garden and Homemade Ice Cream. She also spent countless hours canning and freezing the summer garden vegetables for her family to enjoy all year long. She was a good Cooke and a “good” Cook. The only thing she couldn’t add to her resume was combine operator.
Lee Wanda and Gene were members of the First Baptist Church for their married life, raising their four children in the church. Lee Wanda was a faithful and dedicated Christian woman. She spent countless hours of servanthood to the children and youth ministry over the years, helping with Vacation Bible School, Sunday services and served as Sunday School Superintendent, and Deacon for many years.
She was a talented seamstress making many of her family’s clothes, including prom and wedding dresses for their daughters and Barbie and Ken clothes when the kids were little. Her talents didn’t stop there, she was an accomplished cake decorator, making cakes for all occasions including beautiful wedding cakes. Other requested specialties were buttercream mints, roasted pecans, and a delicious Jello slush punch.
Her children, Janet, Peggy, Pam, and Tim will forever cherish their mother who loved, cared and nurtured them. They don’t ever remember her not being involved and felt she was their best teacher and biggest cheerleader. She was actively involved with their school activities, volunteering in PTA, serving as PTA President at Lowell school. They have fond memories of her making every holiday and birthday special. Her grandchildren had the best version of Lee Wanda as Grandma!! She made each of them feel special, loved, and valued every second with them. She understood just how fast they would grow.
Lee Wanda gave 110 percent of herself to everything she did, she served the Lord with all of her heart, loved her husband and family fiercely and would help anyone in need. She was a positive influence in the lives of many people.
Lee Wanda leaves a long legacy of love behind to her children, Janet and husband Danny Groves, Peggy Sandon, Pam Payne, and Tim Cooke and wife Janet; grandchildren Darin Groves and wife Karen, Shannon Groves and Doug Besse, Kevin Groves and wife Kristin, Jennifer Troutman, Kyle Sandon and wife Tyler, Tiffany Wehmeyer and husband Brent, Jared Cooke and wife Kristen; thirteen great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild; sister Dortha Mae Hargadine. In addition to her parents and husband Gene she was also preceded in death by her brothers Meredith (Jack) Emery and Ray Emery, brother-in-law Doyle Hargadine, son-in-law’s Tim Payne and David Sandon, and grandson-in-law Michael Nolen.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 11am at Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel, 2405 Woodland Ave., Coffeyville with Pastor Dick Smith officiating. She will be laid to rest next to her husband Gene in Fairview Cemetery following services. Friends may call at the chapel from noon to 7pm on Friday, January 19, 2024; the family will receive friends from 5 to 7pm. Sharing the gospel to young children was so important to Lee Wanda so the family is encouraging memorial contributions payable to First Baptist Church, memo noted Children's Fund in her memory and may be left in care of the chapel. To leave a message of condolence, share a memory or view services visit www.fordwulfbrunschapel.com
God made a great wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, daughter, and great friend to us all.