Ann Houseworth Cooke
Ann Houseworth Cooke was born prematurely on January 30, 1929 in Sunbury, PA. She liked to recount that she was placed in the oven to keep warm. Her ability to survive a premature birth in mid-winter Pennsylvania foreshadowed a life of tremendous resiliency, with the ability to quickly bounce back from any health challenge for 92 years. We were all a bit surprised when she didn’t this last time.
Ann was an accomplished musician, playing flute and piano. While attending Bucknell University she met Frank Cooke and married him at 18 years old. Frank was a WWII veteran nine years her senior, and after finishing college they began their life-long careers working in private schools. They first worked at Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Connecticut, where their two children, Leslie and Jeff, were born. The young family then moved to Dutchess School in Millbrook, NY, where Frank became headmaster while Ann taught elementary grades. Every summer they would take a van full of Dutchess students on a cross-country adventure, camping along the way from coast to coast. Seeing Santa Barbara on one of these trips the couple decided to move the family to California in 1964, where Frank became headmaster at Crane Country Day School in Montecito. Ann initially taught at Howard School for a year, then moved over to teach elementary grades at Crane School from 1965 to 1978. She even taught third and fourth grades simultaneously in two different classrooms, running between the two connected rooms. After retiring from teaching Ann worked for several years as Assistant Admissions Director at Brooks Institute of Photography.
Frank and Ann loved to travel and visited every state of the union, as well as taking a trip to France in later years to retrace Frank’s WWII steps. They also loved to entertain, and throughout their lives hosted dinner parties for friends and family. Their last home together was at San Vicente Park, where they enjoyed entertaining a whole new group of friends.
After Frank died in 2009 Ann moved in with her son Jeff and his family, living in Oak View, California and moving with them to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 for her last big adventure.
Ann was a small lady with a big presence. She was efficient, practical, and above all, independent. She was still driving two months before her death. She was predeceased by her husband Frank, her daughter Leslie King, and sisters Flora Carr and Mollie Eyster. She is survived by her son Jeff Cooke, daughter-in-law Janet Cooke, and grandson Nolan Cooke of Hawi, HI; grandsons Chris Dale, David Dale, and Andrew King of California; granddaughters Katie Hollingsworth of Las Vegas and Sasha Casallo of Colorado; great-grandchildren Cece Dale, Ava Hollingsworth, Ryan Hollingsworth, and Liam Dale; and Pennsylvania nieces Flora and Sarah. Jeff and Janet would like to thank Ann’s caregiver Lee Cloud for her calm care and support for all of us during Ann’s final weeks at home. No service will be held.