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Carole A. Cook, of Laurel and Clarksville, MD, peacefully passed December 24th, 2023.
Beloved daughter of Cornelius B. Jr., and Mary L. (Byrne) Arehart, she was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Wesson Cook Jr., her sisters Doris Zuidema, Joyce Wynn, and her brother Cornelius Arehart III.
She is survived by her sons Lawrence and his wife Michele, and Wayne and his wife Lynn, her grandsons Mitchell, Brent, and Brian Cook, her step-grandson Patrick Fischetti and his wife Bethany, her sister Frances Smith and her husband Dennis, her sister-in-law Ann Bowler and many nieces and nephews.
Carole was born September 15, 1936, and raised in N.W. Washington, DC., spending her summers with relatives in Chesapeake Beach, MD. She attended Sacred Heart Academy for girls. She started her working career at NSA, then worked for a lobbyist/trade association on Capitol Hill. After marriage in 1957 to Wesson Cook Jr., and the birth of Lawrence in 1958, and Wayne in 1963, she stepped back professionally to become an extremely dedicated mother. She then moved to West Laurel with her family in 1967. There, she joined St. Mary of the Mills Catholic Church. She helped formulate, and eventually became President of the West Laurel Homemaker’s Club as well as the area representative of The West Laurel Civic Association. Rarely refusing a volunteer organization in need, she and Wes devoted countless hours to The Laurel Boys and Girls Club. Carole’s dedication and success with multiple initiatives and as Director of a key club program led to “Outstanding Service” and “Woman of the Year” awards in 1975 and 1976. During the same period, she returned to work, beginning a 25-year career at The University of Maryland, College Park. In 1980, she parlayed her professional and varied volunteer experience into landing a Managerial Supervisory position. She enjoyed a rewarding career, including many outstanding service awards and meritorious accomplishments. All this culminated in her final title, Employee Relations Manager for the Physical Plant Department at the university.
In 1985, Wes and Carole moved from West Laurel to their wooded paradise near the Brighton Dam in Clarksville, Md. Carole became a member at St. Louis Catholic Church and served on the St. Louis Benevolence Committee. She became a grandmother in 1988 with the birth of Mitchell Shelby Cook. Later came Brent
Anderson Cook in 1995 and Brian Jordan Cook in 1998; and so, began another career as the most loving grandma a child could ask for, generally spoiling them and their friends to no end, including many wonderful family vacations to their property in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., and countless weekends of family fun at their swimming pool.
Upon retirement in 1998, Carole learned to play bridge, and was thereafter, often involved in more than one card playing group and also enjoyed volunteering with the Meals on Wheels program. She also became an author. Her remarkable fictional, yet historically accurate book, “Mary Loretta”, chronicles the life and times of her extended family through the eyes of her grandfather.
After her husband Wes passed away in 2013, Carole later relocated to Cherry Tree Condominiums in Howard County Laurel, where she met many neighbors, made new friends while enjoying a glass of wine, neighborhood activities, family news, and the fruits of her labors. Anyone and everyone who knew her learned she was full of wit and wisdom, and never “beat around the bush” about anything. If you didn’t want to hear the truth you were about to anyway! During this period, Carole attended St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, in Fulton, Md.
She will always be lovingly remembered by her friends and loved by her family.