On Friday, November 4, 2022, Karen Jean Cook of Highlands Ranch, CO, loving wife and mother of three children, passed away at the age of 79.
Karen was born on April 21, 1943, in Chicago, IL to Harvey Cyril and Helen (Judd) Rossing. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Mundelein College (now Loyola) in Chicago, IL in 1964. Karen grew up in Chicago, IL and moved with her family to Chatham, NJ for her high school years. The family returned to the Chicago area where Karen worked for Illinois Bell as an engineer after college.
On August 27, 1966, she married Gilbert (Bert) Evans Cook. They raised two sons, Brian and Jeff, and one daughter, Ellen.
The family moved to Doraville, Georgia (1975-1981) and then to Longwood, Florida in 1981. She built friendships with many and was a member and active volunteer at her church, St. Ann’s Catholic Church in DeBary, FL for 23 years until her move to Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, CO.
Karen described herself as a “Professional Volunteer,” offering her talents and time to her children’s school and sporting activities, and to her church’s various ministries. She was an organizer who started a still-thriving tennis program and two women’s golf groups.
Karen LOVED playing tennis for 30 years until her knees gave out. She learned to golf and shared her love of the sport with her grandchildren. She and Bert enjoyed taking the grandkids golfing, especially on family nights at the golf course they lived next to in Breckenridge, CO. Karen’s commitment to staying healthy included her daily at-home exercise which she began when she was 48 and continued throughout her life.
Karen was blessed with great artistic and creative talent, which she shared in a variety of ways. She was an excellent seamstress and worked on many needlework and craft projects over the years. Karen began watercolor painting in 2019 creating wall art, invitations, and special cards. She never missed a birthday, anniversary, or other occasion.
Helping others was a high priority for Karen. She did this through her volunteerism, but also in quieter ways, too. When her children were young, she hosted members of the Navy for Christmas when they couldn’t be with their families. When she learned of a family in need, she sent a note and whatever financial assistance she could provide. Karen was generous and kind, bringing her wit, beautiful smile, and shining eyes to those around her.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 53 years, Gilbert (Bert) Cook and her brother Harvey Rossing (Pat). She is survived by her sons Brian (Randi) of Scottsdale, AZ and Jeffrey (Autga) of Higbee, MO; daughter Ellen Reid (Scott) of Dillon, CO; sisters Jan Rossing of Elmhurst, IL and Mary Anne Rossing (George Gerdts) of Hansville, WA; three nephews, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She will be laid to rest near her mother, Helen Rossing, in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, IL.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 3rd from 1:00pm – 3:00pm in Highlands Ranch, Colorado at the Wind Crest Retirement Community. We will gather in the Highline Overlook building in the Red Rocks room. The address is: 3235 Mill Vista Rd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129. All are welcome. For more information please contact Karen’s daughter, Ellen Reid, at
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either Canine Companions for Independence, Rocky Mountain Chapter, 24 Rancho del Oro Drive, Oceanside, CA 92057, Attn: Gwen Seah or to the Karen Cook Scholarship Fund, Keystone Science School, 1053 Soda Ridge Road, Dillon, CO 80435, where Karen sent her grandchildren to camp for many years creating lifelong bonds and memories.