Virginia Cook
Virginia Cook
Virginia Cook
Virginia Cook
Virginia Cook
Virginia Cook

Obituary of Virginia Kay Cook

May 25, 1932 – Calgary, Alberta

March 28, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


Virginia Cook, nearly 92 years old, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning after a Wednesday evening gathering filled with love and laughter, with some of her close family.


Born in Calgary, Virginia was a proud alumna of the University of Calgary. She spent much of her career working for the Calgary Board of Education, teaching elementary school as a reading specialist. Virginia frequently turned down offers to enter administration as she simply loved being in the classroom with Grades 1 through 3 children. She taught at Willow Park, Dr. Oakley, Altadore Elementary, and Glamorgan, amongst others.


Virginia was an active member and volunteer with the Calgary Weekend Hikers group for decades and a dedicated weekly delivery volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Every year, she also helped raise funds for the Alberta Wilderness Association by climbing the Calgary Tower and participating in the Terry Fox Run. 


Virginia’s happy place was in the mountains, laughing with numerous friends, and travelling to hike and explore Nepal, Greece, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, the Grand Canyon, and the Channel Islands, to name a few. Many of her favourite backcountry lodges and peaks though, are in our own backyard of Kananaskis Country and the Canadian Rockies.


Virginia was a fitness enthusiast and could often be found working out at the Southland Leisure Centre. She cherished her annual family vacations to Naramata, BC, where she made countless memories with her dear friends, the Whiskins.


Virginia is survived by her loving daughter Carol May Cook (Steve Colleaux), her dear grandchildren, Chelsea Kelba (Alastair) and Lauren Dewey (Garrett); and her adored great-grandchildren, Miles, and Sophie. She leaves behind her brother Rollin Showalter and was predeceased by her husband Leonard Joseph Cook in 1980. In addition to her immediate family, Virginia was a beloved "Auntie Gina" to her nieces, Lynne Douglas (Doug Pinder) and Vicki Graham; as well as numerous other nieces and nephews.


She was predeceased by her parents, John and Genevieve Showalter; and as the youngest of seven, her siblings, Marj Graham (2023), Jack Showalter (2016), Jenny Buckley (2019), Alice O'Leary (2009), and Jean Barker (2005).


A special thank you to the staff at StayWell Manor, where Virginia resided since 2016, and the compassionate team at Southwood Hospice, for making her last days comfortable and peaceful.


In the words of her favourite author, Jane Austen, "What are men, to rocks and mountains?" (She re-read Pride and Prejudice every year.) Virginia will be remembered for her strength, resilience, and sassy sense of humour when least expected. As heartbroken as we are to say goodbye, my mom and the girls’ grandma was such a blessed part of our day-to-day lives that her enthusiasm, recipes, turns of phrase and smiles will live on with us, always. We are grateful to have been part of a life well-lived.


A gathering may be held at a later date.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Virginia’s name may be made directly to the Hospice Calgary Society, 1245 70 Avenue SE,  Calgary, AB T2H 2X8, Telephone: (403) 263 – 4525,, or to a local nonprofit of your choice.


She will be deeply missed by all who knew her, but her values will live on in our gratitude, adventures, and service to others.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Virginia’s family here.


In living memory of Virginia Cook, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle NW, Calgary, AB T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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