Quilting 2

Audrey Mae (Manning) Cook

January 5, 1926 ~ September 24, 2021 (age 95)


Our wonderful Mom, Grandma and GG left us at noon on September 24. Raised an Ontario farm girl, Audrey savoured her past several months in the warm country air among the lush flowers, shrubs and trees by the Swan Pond at Wellington Terrace, Fergus, where she received extraordinarily professional and loving care from remarkably compassionate people. In recent days in her 96th year, her sweetly mischievous smile still charmingly at work and having decided life can last too long, Audrey gradually contentedly slipped into peaceful endless sleep.

Audrey was a keen, accomplished student but upon completing Grade 8 was required to start paid employment as a Domestic/Nanny in the home of a local family whose worldly Wife/Mom generously schooled Audrey in etiquette, fine cooking, literature, and music. At 18, Audrey married the love of her life, Francis Cook, and during her 20s they amazingly delivered two daughters and three sons while operating a family business. Then, through her 30s and 40s, after Francis abruptly entered university Theology studies and worked as pastor for three rural congregations, Audrey fearlessly and magically fed, clothed, nurtured and educated the family of seven on a literal churchmouse income.

After Francis died suddenly in 1994, she at 71 years of age obtained her first Driver’s License and began enjoying 27 years of singlehood indulging family and friends. Audrey suffered tragic losses of her son Doug (Linda Blyth) in 1998, her grandson Ben Adams (Natalie Adsetts) in 2018, and her daughter Margaret (Phillip Adsetts) in December 2020. She is survived and missed greatly by sons Edwin and Dennis (Wendy Ellis), daughter Janet (Don Barnes) and son-in-law Phillip, her grandchildren Natalie, DJ, Jodi-Lin, Emilie, and Jeffrey, and her nine great grandchildren.

Losing Audrey is a stark and gratifying reminder of the constant, absolute encouragement and support she gave to every one of us fortunate to be close to her. This reminder is necessary and important because everything she was and did came from immense quiet, grace, selflessness, and resolve. She never sought attention but was always there steadfastly leading from behind, and we unconditionally trusted and followed her lead, often without conscious awareness. Whenever asked if she believed in a life after death, Audrey said we each live on in the values and actions of the people we influenced during our lives. We will hopefully do her justice.

Rest in peace, MomGrandmaGG. You’ve way more than earned it. We love you very much.

A Celebration of Life for Audrey will be held when COVID risks and restrictions decrease. To receive prior notification, please write or call Janet at dbarnes12@cogeco.ca 519.843.1574 or Dennis at dennis.cook@me.com 647.223.1300.


If you wish to support Women pursuing education to improve their employment and career prospects, please donate in Audrey’s memory at the Audrey Cook Award.


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