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Esther Meryl CookJune 13, 2017
Esther Meryl Cook, 97, of Macomb passed away at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at the Elms Nursing Home in Macomb.
Baptized in Bethel Baptist Church at the age of 8 and longtime active member in Baptist churches in Blandinsville and Macomb. Meryl served as Sunday School teacher, church clerk, delivered tapes and visited shut-ins, was a member of Missionary Society and served on various committees.
Meryl was a 4H leader for 13 years and was a 50 year member or Homemakers Extension. She also joined the Host Family Program and served as American "mom" to International Students for 25 years. Some have continued to stay in contact.
She married Carol J. Riggins on February 25, 1939. Her children are Roger (Sandra) Riggins of Macomb, Marilyn D. (Steve) Pastorelli of Macomb, Ronald J. (Gale) Riggins of Tremont, Illinois and J. Kathleen (Alan) Theis of Wales, Wisconsin. Carol was killed in a milk truck accident on November 19, 1954.
Meryl moved to Macomb in 1958 so her children could attend college. She rented rooms to college men for 13 years.
On October 9, 1966, Meryl married Curtis R. Cook. He died on December 24, 1973.
Meryl worked at McDonough District Hospital for 30 years, retiring in October, 1989.
After retirement, she enjoyed traveling, gardening, making unusual recipes, helping whenever needed and spending time with her grandchildren. She was known as the "cookie grandma". She went on Mission trips to India, Zaire, Costa Rica, and Alaska. Other travels included trips to Europe, Japan, Korea and Taiwan and bus trips in the U.S. and Canada. More recent years she enjoyed traveling with family.
Meryl was preceded in death by son, Roger Riggins and son-in-law, Steve Pastorelli and siblings, Garold Holstine, Otho Holstine, Mary Elizabeth Smith, Ruth Parks and Marjory Parks. Children, Marilyn Pastorelli, Ronald (Gale) Riggins and Kathleen (Alan) Theis, daughter-in-law, Sandra Riggins and brother, Walter Holstine of Aledo survive.
Meryl’s family includes ten grandchildren: Julie Melvin of Macomb, Dianne Cash and Sue Walker of Ft. Myers, Florida; Cindy Lueck of Macomb, Debi Mathew of Ottawa, Canada, Rick Riggins of Peoria; Ryan Riggins of Macomb and Amanda Riggins of Bloomington; Becky Theis of Denver, Colorado and Lindsay Kaufman of Madison, Wisconsin.
Fourteen great-grandchildren include Ashley Foster of Marion, Illinois, Hannah Melvin of Industry, Baylee and Cody Walker of Ft. Myers, Florida, Addison Riggins of Peoria, Erin Lueck of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tyler Lueck of Bloomington, Matthew and Andrew Lueck of Macomb, Lexi, Sierra and Ravi Matthew of Ottawa, Piper and Riley Riggins of Macomb and Elaina, Sienna and Cora Kaufman of Madison, Wisconsin.
Two great-great-grandchildren are Olivia Foster of Marion and Emmett Cox of Industry.
Meryl has two step-daughters, Juanita Cherry of Trenton, New Jersey and Teresa Gilbert of San Angelo, Texas. Step-grandchildren include Melanie Brennan of Las Vegas, Stephen Pastorelli of Ely, Nevada and Gina Bickers of Macomb. Step-great-grandchildren include Zach and Colin Cherry of New Jersey, Brandon, Benjamin and Nicholas Gilbert of Texas, Zachary Connor, Emily and Abigail Brennan of Las Vegas, Brandon and Tyler Bickers of Macomb and Joe and Tony Pastorelli of Ely, Nevada.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Macomb with Reverend Claudia McCain officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 26, 2017 at Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb. Burial will be in Camp Creek Cemetery south of Macomb.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund or the McDonough County YMCA.