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Judith D. Cook
(August 4, 1940 - February 22, 2012)

Judith D. (Blankenship) Cook, 71, Forsyth, IL, passed peacefully into eternity on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at Decatur Memorial Hospital after a struggle of several months with leukemia.

Judy was born at home on August 4, 1940 to Rev. Edward B. and Grace E. (Burroughs) Blankenship in Shelbyville, IL. Her oldest brother registered her birth and named her Judy Darlene, not Judith. Judy graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1958, and married Lewis A. Cook of rural Shelbyville on July 27, 1958. After the wedding, she changed her name legally to Judith. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2008.

Louie and Judy moved to eastside Decatur in 1965, and they lived on 44th Street until 1988. Judy was primarily a homemaker who enjoyed being at home with her children and who worked hard caring for her family. Over the years, she also sold Avon and Fullerbrush products, and she worked for the Macon County home extension office, Sears, St. Mary's Hospital, and Millikin University in the registrar's office. She was always active in church activities. She also worked with deaf children teaching sign language, and in recent years she volunteered for Meals on Wheels and the Shelby County Historical Society. She enjoyed tole and oil painting and playing piano, she loved flower gardening and arranging, and she sent many thoughtful notes and cards. Louie and Judy lived in Amboy, IL from 1988 to 1993 and then returned to rural Shelbyville. They moved to Forsyth in 2007.

Survivors include Judy's husband of 53 years, Louie; her daughter, Robin (Neil) Hamel of Oconto Falls, WI; her son, Phillip (Rebecca) Cook of San Antonio, TX; and grandchildren Ariel (Geoff) Johns, and Rachel, Caleb, and David Hamel of Wisconsin; Collin Cook of Texas; Laurie Smith of Sacramento, CA; and three great-grandchildren. She is also survived by brother-in-law, Richard Carruthers of Ramsey, IL; sisters-in-law, Joyce Blankenship of Salem, OH, Joanne (Don) Apple, Shelbyville, IL, Alice (Harold) Ferguson, Eaton, OH, and Marty (Craig) Dahlquist of Springfield, IL; and nieces and nephews.

Judy was preceded in death by her parents; her twin sisters Rosalind Carruthers and Violet Boaz; brothers Gerald, Kenneth, and Billie Blankenship; brothers-in-law David F. Cook and James "Pete" Boaz; and sister-in-law Inge Blankenship.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 24, 2012 at Riverside Baptist Church, 1250 W. Mound Road, Decatur, IL with Rev. John Norris officiating. Visitation will be from 1:00-2:00 p.m Friday. A graveside service will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Glenwood Cemetery, Shelbyville. Arrangements are by Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville. Memorials may be given to Riverside Baptist Church, Decatur, IL. Send condolences at www.howeandyockey.com

The family would like to thank Dr. Charles Ellington and Dr. Mario Velasco, whom Judy called “the most wonderful doctors in the world.” We also would like to thank the caring nurses of Decatur Memorial Hospital and the DMH Home Health Care and the fine people of Riverside Baptist Church and other friends who helped so often in recent months.

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