Obituary of Carmen Cook
101 Years Young, Carmen Garmendia Cook, of Boise, passed away September 27, 2019. Carmen was born in Boise, November 21, 1917 to Bonifacio and Juliana Garmendia. She was the second of three children and is preceded in death by her parents, her older brother, Joe Garmendia, and her younger sister Regina Dukas.
Carmen attended Boise schools and graduated from Boise High in 1936. 1936 was a very eventful year for Carmen. That year she met Joe Cook; the love of her life, and she was asked to work for KIDO radio, an NBC affiliate. She stayed at KIDO for several years boasting it was the best job in the world.
Joe and Carmen married in 1940 and lived a short time in Seattle before Joe was drafted into the Army Air Core. In 1945, after the service Carmen and Joe moved to Fairfield, Idaho and purchased a small grocery store which they owned and operated as Cook’s Grocery for 25 years. Carmen and Joe loved Fairfield and lived on the Camas Prairie for 52 years in total before moving back to Boise.
Carmen and Joe had two children; son, Michael and daughter, Janet. Their enthusiasm for Mike and Jan’s activities was infectious and they skied, skated, and entertained all sorts of activities and events for their kids. Both Carmen and Joe were very active in the community working with other business owners and friends to build a loving and nurturing environment to live in and enjoy. The expression, “It takes a Village” was the perfect description of Fairfield, and Carmen and Joe fit right in to that concept. Carmen stayed very involved in the community as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Camas Club, the PTA, and for many years worked as a volunteer for the Red Cross. She and her wonderful group of friends enjoyed hosting parties, playing cards, fishing, and going to Jackpot for a little slot machine action now and then. In years of late, she was very disappointed that the machines no longer took coins or insured arm exercise.
In 1998, Carmen and Joe moved back to Boise and lived on Logger’s creek. Carmen did some modeling, learned to use a computer; until her vision was compromised, and remained very interested in politics and world events. Mom was proud of her Basque heritage, and in recent years received wonderful accolades and honors from the Basque Center and Museum.
In August of 2010, after 70 years of marriage, her loving Joe passed away. Losing Joe certainly changed her life, but not her zeal and zest for her own. Carmen had a wonderful life and wonderful friends. She was loved and admired by many and never took that for granted.
She is survived by her son Michael of Denver, CO, daughter, Janet of Boise, ID, her grand-daughter Sarah, along with nieces, nephews, and their families.
A celebration of her life will take place at 11:00 am, October 19, 2019 at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 W. Bannock Street in Boise. Mom’s request, “In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.”
A heartfelt thanks to mom’s wonderful caregivers over the years. You helped her enjoy her long and exceptional life.
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