The long and happy life of former Eden District Councillor Marjorie Cook, who has died aged 97, demonstrates that retirement can be a new beginning. After teaching careers, Marjorie and her husband Harry settled in Penrith, where they were enthusiastic members of the United Reformed Church, Lowther Street, and of the local branch of the Ramblers' Association. Always liberal in her outlook, Marjorie, wh0o also found time to be a school governor, was elected to Eden District Council as a Liberal Democrat in 1991, serving for 16 years before stepping down in 2007. Well into her eighties she continued to deliver leaflets and canvass, and the Cooks' bungalow in Parklands often hosted local party meetings. Her kindness, good humour and optimistic, no-nonsense approach to whatever responsibilities she undertook earned her widespread respect and affection.
Born and brought up in Wigan, Marjorie was a trainee librarian when World War II broke out; she joined the RAF and was posted to Trinidad, where, in her words, she 'had a lovely war', after which she trained as a PE teacher. A committed Christian, she met Harry, also a teacher, at a Christian Endeavour holiday camp. She was brought up a Baptist, he a Methodist; when they moved to Eden, where Marjorie's sister had settled after war service as a land-girl and marriage, the URC was a happy compromise. Harry died a few years ago, and Marjorie ended her days in Coldsprings Care Home, Penrith, then Blackwell Vale Nursing Home in Carlisle. She is survived by a son Jim and grandchildren Lorna and Nathan.
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