Dorothy Margaret Cook

Image    Dorothy Margaret Cook, 91, longtime resident of Choteau, passed away July 19 at the Teton County Nursing Home in Choteau following a long and courageous battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Choteau on July 6 at 11 a.m.  Burial of her cremated remains will follow at 3 p.m. at the Choteau Cemetery.
    Dorothy was the oldest of 9 children, born March 24, 1916 at Farmington to homesteaders Ernest and Frieda (Kathman) Arensmeyer. She was raised on the Farmington Bench and moved into Choteau to attend Teton High School. She married Foster (Bill) Burgess in Seattle in 1938; he preceded her in death in 1942. They had one son, Ronnie. After working for the Civil Service at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona during World War II, she and her young son returned to live in Choteau. She married Eldon J. Cook, a pioneer Teton rancher and heavy equipment contractor on Dec. 23, 1946 in Great Falls. They were married for 60 years and had three children, Judy, Vicki and Tim.
    Dorothy was a life long community volunteer and business woman. A career Postal employee, she retired as Assistant Postmaster after 20 years of service. She then operated a clothing store, “Tots to Teens” with her daughter Vicki for several years. Her love for antiques led to her participation in an antique business in Great Falls and later the establishment of Dorothy’s Gingham Gallery at the Old Trail Museum in Choteau. She reached her goal of retiring after turning 80 years old.
    Dorothy was instrumental in development of the Choteau Senior Center, serving as its President for several years. She devoted endless hours to local and statewide Senior Citizen activities, including the Legacy Legislature and the Governor’s Council on Aging.     In 2001, she was honored as local and District Senior Citizen of the year, earning recognition from the Governor of Montana. She was a lifelong active member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, having been baptized and confirmed in the old German Lutheran Church in Farmington. She was a member of the Queen Rebekah Lodge and served several terms as Noble Grand. In addition, she loved working in her yard and was an accomplished seamstress.
    Dorothy is survived by her husband, Eldon; sons Ronnie (Shari) Burgess, of Choteau; Tim Cook, of San Jose, Calif.; a daughter Dr. Judy Cook, of Roseville, Calif.; a brother James (Barbara) Arensmeyer, of Choteau; a sister Ruth (Earl) Bloedel, of Billings; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins throughout the United States. She was preceded in death by brothers Reinhardt, Alvin (Bud), Robert (Bob) and Donald Arensmeyer; sisters Edna (Harold) Gunderson and Esther (John) Fuller; her daughter Vicki Ross Jennings; and her granddaughter Shelly Ross.
    Memorials are suggested to the Choteau Senior Center, Trinity Lutheran Church of Choteau or the Teton County Nursing Home.