Mary Kay (Sawyer) Cook was born on February 22, 1946 in Horton, Kansas, to Maxine and Neal Sawyer. As a child she was a self-described tomboy who loved to make mud-pies and catch frogs. One of her favorite stories was recounting her mom’s scream upon discovering one of her frogs perched on the toaster one morning. Her mom did not share Kay’s fondness for frogs. Kay graduated from Sabetha High School and had many good memories of slumber parties, draggin’ Main in Pete Pontiac, and other fun times with her friends. She attended Emporia State University, where she met Lynn Cook, the love of her life. Kay and Lynn were married on August 28, 1966 and built a life together raising a family in Topeka.
In addition to raising her two girls, Kay worked as a medical secretary at two hospitals in Topeka and later in the medical records department at Rolling Hills. As she neared retirement, she enjoyed babysitting for several friends. She was a natural with kids.
Kay gave genuine and unconditional love to her family and friends. She hosted many family gatherings and was always cheering her daughters at tennis meets, softball games and dance recitals. She had a great, infectious laugh which was hard for her to stop once she got going. She loved to celebrate Christmas, read, listen to music, play Trivial Pursuit, and play golf. Kay and Lynn retired in sunny Arizona where they made even more friends and memories.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother. She is survived by her loving husband, Lynn Cook of Mesa, Arizona; two daughters, Stacy Cook, and her spouse, Laurie Kemplay, of Indianapolis, and her daughter, Jenne Cook, of Topeka; cousins, many nieces and nephews; and her beloved cat, Sophie.
Kay died on January 1, 2021 at the age of 74. One of Kay’s last wishes was to give the gift of life and hope through organ and tissue donation. Services will be held at a later time. Memorial contributions in Kay’s honor may be made to the American Kidney Fund or the American Chronic Pain Association (a resource for fibromyalgia) sent in care of Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia, Sabetha, Kansas 66534.