YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Nina May Cook, 103, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Continuing Healthcare of Boardman.
She was born February 24, 1918 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Oscar and Mamie (Atkinson) Bondesen. Her family moved to Youngstown, Ohio in 1926; the state Nina called home for nearly 95 years.
Nina graduated from South High School of Youngstown in 1936.
She took piano lessons when the family could afford it and spent her early years with her brother, Sterling, enjoying time at Idora Park, swimming, or going to Euclid Beach and Amusement Park. She enjoyed the outdoors and would ride her second-hand bicycle whenever she could. In the summertime, Nina and her friends would walk to Isaly’s store for a chocolate or butter pecan ice cream cone. Her love for sweets never waned.
When she was in 11th grade, she got a part time job at the South Side Library, working in the children’s room. Nina went back to work at the library in 1965 where she helped move the library into its new building in 1968. She worked there until she retired in 1978.
Another favorite hobby was ice skating on Lake Glacier in Mill Creek Park where she met Jeff Cook, whom she began to date. When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, Jeff was the first person from Linde Bell Transit to enlist; his choice was the United States Air Force. In every letter he wrote to Nina, he asked to marry her. When Nina finally said yes, Jeff immediately bought an engagement ring and sent it to Nina through the mail. They were married in July 1945.
Their first child, Laurel Jean Cook, was born March 1, 1946 and came into this world weighing two pounds and one ounce. She was the smallest preemie ever born at North Side Hospital at that time.
In 1948, Jeff purchased an acre on Summit Drive in Canfield for $100 and in 1953, Nina and Jeff were blessed with a healthy baby boy, Gary Wayne Cook.
Nina lived a very full and rewarding life and triumphed over myriad challenges. She read story books to every one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She attended plays, musical programs, sporting events, majorette and band shows, baptisms, birthdays, graduations, weddings and anniversaries of all those she loved. She survived the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression, a hip fracture, heart failure, broken ribs, many bouts of pneumonia and Covid-19. She was still climbing ladders well in her 80s to paint parts of the house that her husband and she built together.
She was a loyal patriot who served her country as a nurse’s aide in World War II.
Nina was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Canfield Post #177 and has served as President, Secretary and Poppy Chairman. She was also a frequent volunteer at the Canfield War Veteran’s Museum and a member of Canfield United Methodist Church.
Nina enjoyed traveling and fishing trips to Canada with her husband, she was a member of the Canfield Crafty Club and enjoyed playing cards with her Bridge Club, “the Elegant Eight.”
After living in Canfield for 66 years, Nina moved to Northern Virginia in 2014 to live with her daughter and son-in-law.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jeff, of 46 years; her brother, Sterling; her sister-in-law, Mary Jane; her daughter, Laurel, in January of 2018 and her son, Gary, in February 2018.
At the age of 103, Nina is survived by her son-in-law, Stanley Rupert and daughter-in-law, Beverly Vangeloff-Cook; six grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many dear friends, who will miss her greatly.
We rest assured that because of her steadfast faith in Jesus, she is now enjoying a long-awaited reunion. A life so pure and full of grace will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her name to the American Legion Auxiliary, Canfield Chapter. Please make check out to “American Legion Auxiliary, Post 177” and mail to American Legion Auxiliary, P.O. Box 53, Canfield, OH 44406.
Friends may call Saturday, June 12, 2021 from 10:00 -11:00 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at Lane Family Funeral Home, Canfield Chapel.
To send flowers to the family of Nina May Cook please visit our Tribute Store.
A television tribute will air Thursday, June 10 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.