• Kevin Hessel

Olive Freeman Cook


Olive Cook, a longtime resident of Marin, died Friday, April 6, 2018 in San Rafael, CA, seven months shy of her 100th birthday.

Born in Los Angeles in 1918 to James Freeman and Helen Haver Freeman, Olive was a fifth-generation native Californian. She migrated north to attend Stanford University in 1936 along with her then-boyfriend, Lyle Cook. They both graduated from Stanford University in 1940, marrying in December. This was the beginning of a lifelong connection with Stanford for them, both through Lyle's work, the Alumni Association, Cap and Gown, Stanford Athletics, and the founding of their Ethics in Society fund. They were proud that several children and a granddaughter also attended Stanford. They lived in Menlo Park, CA, before moving to Tiburon in 1966 for Lyle's job with Lester Gorsline Associates, then located in the Boardwalk.

Olive was a renaissance woman, accomplished in many areas and interested in many more. She was a talented seamstress, needlepoint artist, gardener, cook, investor, and athlete. She loved swimming from an early age at Big Bear Lake and the Del Mar Beach Club as well as tennis, playing until the age of 90. She became the first woma

n president of the Belvedere Tennis Club in 1974. She worked as a manufacturers sales representative in children's clothing until her retirement at age 72. She volunteered in her communities throughout her life, most recently at the American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop. She was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon and a conscientious citizen who voted in every election through age 98.

All who knew her agree that her greatest gift was that of friendship. She was interested in people and made connections that endured for decades. She had a winning smile and was a stylish dresser. She remained engaged and open to friends and family until the end.

Olive was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Ann F. Campbell; and her husband of 61 years, Lyle Cook; her son, James M. Cook; her son-in-law, James R. Otto; and her daughter Ellen C. Otto. She is survived by her daughters Mary Vaage and Jane Cook, their husbands, Lee Vaage and Joe Vassallo. She loved and supported her seven grandchildren, Chris Otto (Elena), Liz Wilson (Ed), Lucinda Otto, Ben Otto, Alissa Worthing (Erin), Anna Vaage and Canaan Vaage. She was proud of her seven interesting great-grandchildren, Kamari, Charlotte, Matina, James, Sonja, Annika, and Foxen.

A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, May 4 at 11 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon. Final interment will be at Hillside Memorial Park, Redlands, CA.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name may be gifted to the Lyle and Olive Cook Family Fund for Ethics in Society at Stanford University, Hospice By The Bay, or a charity of your choice.


32 views
Recent stories