Ida Janet “Janie” Cook died peacefully, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and her husband on Saturday, February 25, 2023. She was born in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, on May 26, 1943, and was preceded in death by her brother Dwain Spears and her parents E.E. Spears and Mary Hope Fine Spears. After marrying her husband, Dr. Lewis Cook, Janie earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Louisiana State University in New Orleans. She worked many years as a teacher in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Janie and Lewis ultimately moved to Texarkana, Texas, where she worked many years as a surgical nurse for Lewis. Anyone who has met her understands the sparkle in her smile and the innocence and generosity of her heart. Janie was always available for a hug and words of encouragement. She never met a stranger and she could melt the heart of the toughest adversaries. A simple “hi” from Janie made life better and you knew things would be okay because she was on your side. Janie and Lewis spent over 50 years as 3rd grade Sunday School teachers at First Baptist Church, Downtown Texarkana, and later First Baptist Church on Moores Lane in Texarkana. Together they led children to Christ, taught the importance of a personal relationship with God, and a knowledge of His Word. The “66 Club” has meaning to thousands of people in the community. Janie was an avid tennis player. She played in leagues with her dear friends for many years. She was a fierce competitor and a loyal teammate. Her smile and personality never changed on the courts. Those fortunate enough to play as her partner knew they were in for a fun day. She never lost her temper and if her partner did, she would say something cute and funny and you couldn’t help but laugh. You always were a winner on her team. Nothing made Janie happier than to play tennis, and later, to watch her children and grandchildren play. Even in some of her weakest moments, she might surprise you on the courts. Janie was also known for her creative art projects and her photography. Her dining room table always had pictures and projects she was working on. She loved attending baby and wedding showers; parties, reunions, and many other types of gatherings so she could take photos of the those attending and if you weren’t there, she would add you to the picture. She never wanted anyone to feel forgotten or left out. Her gifts to others were framed photos and albums of the photos she took. Her creativity was immeasurable, and you felt her love when she shared. Janie is survived by her husband, Lewis Cook; her four children, John Cook and daughter-in-law Melanie Cook of Texarkana; David Cook and daughter-in-law Lori Cook of Stilwell Oklahoma; Lisa Cook Soyars and son-in-law Matthew Soyars of Texarkana; and son Bill Cook of Texarkana. Janie is also survived by seven grandchildren, Elizabeth Cook, Margaret Cook, William Soyars, Sarah Cook, Benjamin Soyars, Harris Cook, Sophia Soyars; her sister, Judy Bolin of Sallisaw, Oklahoma; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. Visitation will be at Texarkana Funeral Home on Texas Boulevard in Texarkana, Texas on Friday, March 3, from 6-7:30 pm. A funeral will be held on Saturday, March 4, at 1pm at First Baptist Church, Texarkana on Moores Lane in Texarkana, Texas, and a burial at Hillcrest Memorial Park. Pallbearers include John Cook, David Cook, Bill Cook, William Soyars, Benjamin Soyars, Harris Cook, and Christian Soyars. The family has requested any friends/family to write a note with a favorite story or memory of Janie. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made to Watersprings Ranch, CASA of Texarkana, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Texarkana Boxing Academy, or to a charity of your choice.
Published March 2, 2023