Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Obituary ~ Irene Ellen (Etzen) Cook
April 18, 1910 ~ December 19, 2016

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Thursday, December 21, 2006

CLEAR LAKE — Irene Ellen Cook, 96, of Clear Lake, died Tuesday (Dec. 19, 2006) at Oakwood Care Center, Clear Lake, Iowa. She was an inspiration to all who knew her and a source of endless love for her family.

A funeral service to celebrate her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday (Dec. 29, 2006) at the Forest City United Methodist Church, 305 S. Clark, Forest City, Iowa, with the Rev. Jerald Swanberg officiating. Interment will be held at the Madison Township Cemetery, Forest City.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, and one hour before the service on Friday at the church. Family suggests memorials to the Forest City United Methodist Church.

Irene was born April 18, 1910, near Woden, Iowa. She was the daughter of Peter and Mary (Barth) Etzen. Irene spent her entire life as a resident of north central Iowa. She was married on June 18, 1928, to Joe R. Cook. They spent their lives together farming in the Forest City area until Joe’s death in 1963.

After Joe’s death, Irene worked 12 years as a seamstress for Stitch Craft Industries. In 1992, she moved to the Meadows in Clear Lake to be near her daughter and son-in-law, Bob and Bonnie Starkey. She had been a resident of Oakwood Care Center, Clear Lake, since 2003.

Irene was a devoted wife, cherished mother, loving grandmother, adored-great grandmother and faithful friend. She loved her family and treasured the times they spent together.

Irene had a servant heart. She possessed unlimited love, endless energy, and a sweet spirit that drove her to always do more for others than herself. Whether she was taking meals to those in need, feeding farm laborers, calling on the sick or caring for her great-grandchildren, her motivation was always selfless and genuine.

She was also known for her strong work ethic, fierce determination and delightful sense of humor. Her optimistic attitude brought much joy to her in all her work and life endeavors. She especially enjoyed baking, sewing, craftwork, embroidering, quilting, playing cards and caring for children. She was not hesitant to express her opinions candidly and spiritedly.

Irene had a simple and abiding faith. Before her health failed, she was an active member in the United Methodist Church, Forest City. She was involved in lay ministries, was a member of Rebecca Circle, and worked tirelessly to prepare for the annual church bazaar. Irene reflected the light of God’s love in kind and gentle ways.

Irene is survived by her grandson, Dr. Randall Starkey, and his wife, Mary Jo, San Francisco, Calif.; granddaughter, Dawne Sipe, and her husband, Dr. James Sipe, Golden Valley, Minn.; great-grandchildren, Joe and Jenny Starkey and Rachel and Christopher Sipe; and brother, Edward Etzen, and wife, Dorothy, Forest City; several nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; her daughter, Bonnie Starkey; son-in-law, Robert Starkey; brothers, Enno, Pete and John Etzen; and sisters, Louise Hanson, Bernadetta Brackey, Grace Larson and Rose Peterson.

Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, (641) 357-2193. www.colonialchapels.com

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2016



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