Cooke, Mary Grace (Mrs. R. Leonard)


I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.

These words by John Greenleaf Whittier express the kind of faith that Grace Cooke possessed. She knew to whom she belonged and was persuaded that He was able to keep that which she had committed to Him against anything that a day might bring. She lived and died in this faith. Mary Grace Burson Cooke was born at Sibley, Louisiana, on September 18, 1908. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Burson. She attended the Elementary School at Dubberly and then graduated from Minden High School as Salutatorian of her class in 1924. She graduated from Louisiana College, Pineville, in 1928, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Latin and English.
On August 24, 1928 she married R. Leonard Cooke. To them one daughter was born-Mary Eneile Cooke Mears, who now resides in Shreveport.
Grace taught school in Sibley and Minden for several years. When her husband, B. Leonard Cooke, decided to enter the Minis try, she worked in his place at E. Henry Lowe’s store in Minden as a bookkeeper three days a week while he attended Centenary College. Following graduation at Centenary they went to Southern Methodist University School of Theology in Dallas. She received a Master of Arts Degree there in Old Testament. Grace took some graduate courses at the University of Chicago while Leonard did his graduate work there.
They returned to Louisiana to serve the Mangham Circuit in 1942. Their second appointment was the Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Shreveport where they served from 1943 until 1953. Other appointments kept them in Shreveport on two different occasions, so Broadmoor United Methodist Church was fortunate to have her as a member for twenty-three years.
Grace was always active in the local church where her husband served. She was an active Parsonette in every community where they lived. She was a member of the Centenary Women’s Club, the PEO Chapter, the Delphi Study Club, and other Community Activities.
Bishop Finis A. Crutchfield, Jr. brought the message at her funeral which was held at the Broadmoor United Methodist Church. She was buried in the Garden of Memory in Minden, Louisiana.
Thanks be to God that Grace Cooke passed our way. She was a blessing to so many and we are grateful that she lived among us.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1973; p. 133 By Jack Cooke

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