Cover photo for Opal Cook's Obituary
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1932 Opal 2020

Opal Cook

March 6, 1932 — December 18, 2020

Opal “Lucille” Cook age 88 passed away Friday, December 18, 2020 at The Legends of Tulsa Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lucille was born on March 6, 1932 in Havana, Kansas at home during a snowstorm to Earl Jasper Defenbaugh and Naomi Lucile (King) Defenbaugh. She had one older brother, Earl Gene Defenbaugh. He gave her the nickname “Sissy” as she was growing up. Her family moved to Coffeyville where she attended Coffeyville schools graduating in 1950. Lucille attended Coffeyville Junior College, then transferred to the University of Kansas in Lawrence where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She met her future husband at K.U. and married William “Bill” Lee Cook on November 20, 1955 in Coffeyville, Kansas. In the early years of their marriage she and Bill were transferred with his job and lived in Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri before moving to Independence, Kansas. When they lived in St. Louis, Missouri, Lucille worked at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital as an Occupational Therapist. Lucille was a homemaker rearing their two daughters along with working for Bill when he first became a State Farm Insurance Agent in Independence. Lucille was like a pioneer as she was ahead of her time working outside of the home. She worked as an Occupational Therapist for Tri-County Co-op, Four County Mental Health and many of the Independence Nursing Homes as a private Consultant. Lucille loved working with children and the elderly helping them with their Occupational Therapy needs. Lucille was a member of The First United Methodist Church and Women’s First United Methodist Church Circle. She was very active in her P.E.O. Chapter DA where she held various offices over the years. One event dear to her was being honored as a Golden Girl (50 years as a P.E.O. member) with her daughters and friends at the P.E.O. State Convention. She was a member of the Contemporary Study Club and an avid bridge player in many of the Independence bridge groups. She also enjoyed serving on many Neewollah committees along with volunteering at the William Inge Festival. Lucille enjoyed traveling, reading, attending plays and musicals, and most of all spending time with her family. She is survived by her long time best friend, Mike Seller, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Daughter, Cindy Gant and husband Kevin, Wilsey, Kansas and Daughter Stephanie Wilson and husband, Thad, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lucille is also survived by 5 Grandchildren, Brooke LaPosta (Chris), Neosho, Missouri, Abby Clevenger (Lane), Joplin, Missouri, Tony Scardino, IV (Alison), Jeff Scardino (Natalie), and Emma Bethel (Alan) all of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Also surviving are 12 Great-Grandchildren, Isabelle, Hudson, and Titus Clevenger; Carter and Brody LaPosta; Tony, V and Sophie Scardino; Piper, Liam, and Collins Scardino; Ace and Violet Lucille Bethel. Two bonus grandchildren Taylor and Madeline Wilson. Other survivors are nephew Brad and wife Kristy Defenbaugh, niece Debbie Defenbaugh and great-niece Kayleigh Defenbaugh, all of The Woodlands, Texas and best friend for 85 years, Dolores Duffy. She is preceded in death by her husband, Bill Cook, her parents and brother, Earl, sister-in-law, Mary Defenbaugh, and friend, Chuck Duffy. A friends and family visitation will be held at the Webb Rodrick Funeral home Sunday, December 27th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with masks being required. A private family graveside service will be held earlier at Mount Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kansas. The family may be reached at the home of Melissa and Rob Hadley, Independence. In Lieu of flowers the family has suggested that memorials be made to Friends of Riverside Park and Zoo (FORPAZ) or The First United Methodist Church in Lucille’s name.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, December 27, 2020

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Webb & Rodrick Chapel and Crematory

306 W Main St, Independence, KS 67301

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