How does one put the whole life of a loved one into words, especially when that life has touched so many?
My mother, Suzanne Cook, was larger than life, and her love and laughter spread to all that she touched.
Suzanne was born in 1951 in the coal country of West Virginia to Doreen and Jimmy Lyons, a nurse and a lawyer. While I did not know her then, what I know is that she was a huge personality, with many of her friends from that time still being her friends to this day.
Growing up in a small town, she met her one true love, and my dad, Arlis Cook. Together they weathered the storm of Vietnam, as my father was a U.S. Marine, and it shaped their love and devotion for years to come.
In the early 70s, she and my dad ventured west. Not quite knowing where they would end up, they came to live in Cody, and from that day, they would call Cody “home.” Together they lived on the A2Z Ranch for over 15 years and then the Double E Prince Ranch for over 20. They created a beautiful life; it was full of adventure, love, hardship and determination.
In 1984, I was born, and they devoted every waking moment to me. My mother was an incredible mother, teaching me how to live a life of devotion, hard work, and kindness. We traveled across the U.S. many times in my youth, seeing the world together and creating memories that shaped my journey.
In 2009, my father left us after a brave fight with brain cancer. At that moment, my mother lost her best friend and continued to miss him every day. But she stayed steady and created a new life, full of loyal friends, grandchildren and her summer family at the Cody Nite Rodeo.
To all who knew her, to say her grandchildren Peyton and Mackenzie were her whole world, would be an understatement. They knew her as “Grannie” and were blessed to spend time with her almost daily. Whether it was cooking, sewing, eating candy (as all good grandparents should do), or traveling to music and dance class, my mom devoted every waking moment to loving them.
While many who knew her may have not known, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer in December 2017. Determined to fight it and cherish the time she had, she carried on, laughing with her grandchildren, being my constant support and enjoying her time joking with tourists at the front gate of the rodeo.
On March 23, after a heroic fight, God called her home, so she could be with my dad and be an angel to her granddaughters, who she lived her life for everyday.
She is survived by everyone who loved her, her daughter Amanda Marsh and son-in-law Trapper of Cody, her two granddaughters Peyton and Mackenzie Marsh, her sisters Pamela Cook of North Carolina and Elaine Dannemiller of Alabama.
She is in heaven now with her mother Doreen, father Jimmy, husband Arlis and best friend Patsy Dalton.
At this time, there will be no official services, but we hope to have a celebration of life in the summer which was her favorite time of the year.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you support the Big Horn Basin Cancer Center and Patient Advocates, as my mom would have gained comfort in knowing that other families affected by cancer could have the support they deserve.
“She’s in the sun, the wind, the rain, she’s in the air you breathe with every breath you take. She sings a song of hope and cheer, there’s no more pain, no more fear. You’ll see her in the clouds above, hear her whisper words of love, you’ll be together before long, until then, listen for her song.” Christy Ann Martine
An online guestbook is available at www.BallardFH.