Ruth Cook

Obituary of Ruth Cook

Ruth Cook (1929-2021) Ruth Cook, who passed away at Champlain Manor Orillia on 5 October 2021, aged 91, had a long and rewarding life. A charming, intelligent, warm-hearted woman with a keen, often sardonic sense of humor, she had a zest for life and a talent for friendship. Ruth loved good food and was herself a marvelous cook; appreciated all kinds of music (especially opera), enjoyed travelling, the company of friends and family, theatre and movies, books of all kinds (especially murder mysteries) and enjoyed nothing better than a robust exchange of views about current affairs. Before her health precluded it, she was a strong swimmer and prodigious walker. Although a life-long ‘dog person’, she acquired a black cat called Milly late in life who led a charmed existence due to her devoted care. Ruth was born in Czechoslovakia on 12 December 1929, and emigrated to Canada with her family in 1939 to escape the threat of fascism. Her father Hugo Abels, formerly a successful lawyer in Prague, adjusted, along with his wife Jara, to a new life farming in Bronte, Ontario. Ruth and her brother Peter helped with the farm chores and went to the local school, where Ruth was befriended by Noel Duncan, who would remain a life-long friend. Aged 16 she met and promptly fell in love with Bill Cook at ‘Teen Town’ in Oakville. They both went to the University of Toronto, and married in 1953, after Ruth had graduated with a BA in history. They remained inseparable until Bill’s death in 1997. Ruth and Bill raised their two children in Richmond Hill, before moving to Orillia in 1989. Their son Steven lives in Orillia, and their daughter Diana Morrow in New Zealand. When her children were young, Ruth trained as a social worker, and worked in that capacity for several decades in North York and Toronto. From 2017 she lived in Champlain Manor Retirement Home, where she received expert care and enjoyed a special friendship with Alexandra Stone, the Administrative Assistant at the home, who shared her sense of humor. Ruth was a wonderful mother, and a much-loved grandmother to Daniel and Katie Morrow of New Zealand, and to Robin, Chris and Kajsa Cook of Sweden. She will be greatly missed and remembered with love by all who knew her. If desired, memorial donations to the charity of your choice may be made through Simcoe Funeral Home, 38 James St E. Orillia (705) 327-0221. Messages of condolence are welcomed at


Georgian Bay Cremation Services
90 Toronto Road
Flesherton, Ontario, Canada

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