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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Obituary - Mary Ruth Cook

Mary Ruth Cook, 99, formerly of rural Butler MO, died February 19, 2021 in Independence MO. She was born to the late Roy C Hays and Iva Evans Hays on August 15, 1921 at their home near Ballard MO. She attended Fairview Grade School and Ballard High School.

She earned an associate’s degree from Southwest Baptist College (now university) Bolivar MO and continued studies at Central Missouri State College (now Central Missouri University).

Mary Ruth and Aaron Cook, also from the Ballard community, were married April 22, 1943 in San Diego CA. Being citizens of a country at war, they worked at Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation. Following Aaron’s service and discharge from the army on February 18, 1946, they settled on their farm south of Ballard. Here they worked together 50 years raising crops and livestock, notably prime beef cattle. Mary Ruth worked tirelessly to preserve the products of their large vegetable gardens. In 1996 they retired, but remained in their home until 2012.

Mary Ruth accepted the Lord Jesus as her personal Savior early in life. She served through the ministries of the Fairview Baptist Church. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She promoted missions awareness through leadership in the Children in Action, Girls in Action and Woman’s Missionary Union organizations. For 30 years she was clerk of the church, keeping records and preserving history. In 2017 the church recognized her years of service. In later years Mary Ruth was a member of the First Baptist Church of Butler where she taught a class of senior ladies.

Mary Ruth volunteered at Kamp Keirsey and supported her children’s participation in 4-H Club. She was a student of family, church and Missouri histories. Her ancestors of both the Hays and Evans families were pioneers in the settlement of Bates County MO. As a short, petite, energized, white-haired senior she maintained correspondence with many friends, including some from her youth and college days. She completed many pieces of embroidery work for quilt construction.

Mary Ruth was preceded in death by Aaron (2013), her husband of 70 years. She is survived by beloved family, son David Cook (Alice) of Buckner MO, daughters Lois Miller (Richard) of Leawood KS and Mary Wood (Joseph) of Lees Summit MO; 5 granddaughters Karen French (Dannie) of Clinton MO, Carol Frerichs (Chad) of Pilger NE, Lindsey Miller of Brentwood TN, Elizabeth Wood (Ryne Verschoor) of Sioux City IA and Hannah Brizuela of Lees Summit MO; great-grandchildren Bethany Coplen (Kurt), Marcus Cloe (Kareena), Amanda Balcom, Miriam Frerichs, Cristian Brizuela, Veronica Brizuela and greatgreat-grandchildren Reaghan Cloe and Gage Coplen.

The family thanks the kind caregivers of Interim in Independence MO. A private graveside gathering of family will be held with a possible memorial service later in the year. If desired, memorial contributions can be made to Kamp Keirsey or the Butler Community Food Pantry and directed to the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler. Sharing of memories would be welcome at