Eleanor K. Cook


Eleanor K. (Hefel) Cook, 92, of Dubuque, and formerly of Sherrill, passed away Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, at Luther Manor, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Visitation will be from 2:00-8:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Hoffmann-Schneider and Kitchen Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Dubuque.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 3, at Ss. Peter and Paul  Catholic Church, Sherrill, conducted by Msgr. Stanley Hayek.

Burial will be in Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Sherrill.

Eleanor was born Wednesday, April 20, 1921, on a farm near North Buena Vista, to John J. and Rosetta (Bakula) Hefel. She received her education in the rural North Buena Vista and Holy Cross schools. 

She married Charles Edward Cook on Sept. 25, 1940, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in North Buena Vista.  He preceded her in death on July 16, 2006, after 65 years of marriage.  His parents were Philip and Clara (Klein) Cook. They farmed all their lives, beginning on the family farm in North Buena Vista, and renting several times in the Holy Cross area before buying their own farm, where they lived and farmed for 35 years, and raised their nine children, before retiring to the Sherrill area in 1982. 

Eleanor was a lifelong, accomplished homemaker. Her gardens were huge, in addition to several strawberry patches. Everything grown was eaten fresh, canned, or frozen. In 1996, she was featured in the TH for her knowledge of freezing and canning garden produce. In addition to excelling in cross stitching, quilting, photography, journal writings, and producing several memoirs and genealogy, she and her husband enjoyed fishing, card playing, and vacations traveling across the United States and Canada. They attended functions where music was provided by their sons, Ronald, Wayne, and Joseph. 

Faith and prayer were very important to Eleanor, especially her reverence to the Blessed Mother and St. Jude. She was a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and the Rosary Society, church choir, parish quilters, and she was instrumental in compiling the parish’s first cookbook. In her adolescent years, she cared for her six older sisters, especially after the births of their children. Eleanor performed several years with her seven sisters as The Singing Sisters at many nursing homes and senior citizen events. Having lived through the Depression years, Eleanor found a use for everything. Nothing went to waste.  Most importantly, her passion was to do for others, especially being the core of family activities.  She was especially known for sending cards to everyone for birthdays, anniversaries, babies, sympathy, or just because. 

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Sharon Adams and Wayne (Bonnie) Cook of Dubuque, Ronald (Janet) Cook and Charlene (William) Brimeyer of Balltown, Lois (Daniel) Thurston of Davenport, Joseph Cook (friend, Donella Miller) of Muncie, Ind., Neil (Tamie) Cook of Holy Cross; 39 grandchildren; 77 great-grandchildren and one on the way; four step great-grandchildren; two step great-great-grandchildren; daughters-in-law, Darlene Cook of Dubuque and Alice Cook of Bernard; her sister, Kathleen (Bennett) Habel of North Buena Vista; sisters-in-law, Stella Hefel and Joann Hefel of North Buena Vista, Esther Link of Dubuque, and Leona Cook of Rickardsville; as well as many nieces and nephews. 

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; two sons, Leon on July 21, 2007, and Dale on Oct. 2, 2003; son-in-law, Stanley Adams on Mar. 17, 2009; her siblings, John F. Hefel, Milton Hefel, Matthew Hefel, Marie Gansemer, Loretta Decker, Edith Gloeckner, Alvina Gassmann, Edwina Schmitt, Josephine Heiderscheit, and Arlene Hefel; and her nephew, Charles H. Burns who lived with them during his teen years.

Eleanor and her family wish to thank Hospice of Dubuque; the staff at Luther Manor; and all the friends and family who offered their prayers, thoughts and support.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Sherrill Fire Department and Hospice of Dubuque. 

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hoffmannschneiderfuneralhomes.com.

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