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Joanne W. (Whittaker) Cooke

Pause Claire de lune by Patrick Smith, composer (BMI)
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Joyce Funeral Home

245 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02453
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Memories & Candles

“My deepest condolences to the family, may you find comfort and strength from the God of all comfort in this difficult time (Isiah 26:19) ”
1 of 4 | Posted by: A friend

“Cindy, What a lovely tribute to your mom. She sounds like a fabulous lady. Wish I had the opportunity to meet her. I pray your many memories...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Pam Darwin - Fairfax Station, VA

“You are in my thoughts and prayers Cindy. I have fond memories of walking to your home from elementary school with you and your mom asking me to play...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Sabrina Maltby - Raymond, NH

“I knew Joanne as the mother of my friend Cindy and, although I was only privy to visiting with her a handful of times, she was always gracious and...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Ellen Silverman - Salem, MA


Marblehead – "I'm celebrating life!", at 91 years old, Mrs. Joanne W. (Whittaker) Cooke shuffled into her favorite restaurant, Dubies of Salem, and made this declaration. We can only imagine that maybe she knew that just a few days later, she would be surrounded by her family in the care of Kaplan Family Hospice Home in Danvers about to take her last breath. On May 10, 2018, Joanne passed away, but for all of those who knew her, we know she lived one of the most full, spirited and vibrant lives, with an unwavering consideration and kindness to others and a deep appreciation and closeness to God.

The youngest of five, Joanne was born in Winchester, Massachusetts on August 25, 1926, daughter of the late Arnold and Mary Louisa (Winn) Whittaker. She graduated from Westfield High School in New Jersey with the class of 1944, and from Marshall College in Huntington, West Virginia. Joanne spent five years in Newark, NJ working as a buyer at Hahne and Company, which she was very proud of. While there she was praised by her coworkers and clients alike for her positive attitude and impeccable service.

On July 10, 1954 she married the love of her life, Essex Fells New Jersey native Donald F. Cooke in Saint Peter's Episcopal Church in Essex Fells, New Jersey. The couple moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts where they remained lifelong residents. If you asked Joanne about her late husband Donald, she would be sure to tell you that everyone said, "he was the most handsome man in Marblehead."

Joanne was predeceased by her loving daughter Betsy Cooke Mcbride and is leaving behind her daughter Cindy Cooke of Marblehead; her grandchildren, Andrew Spahr and his wife, Jenn, Jay Spahr and his wife, Clara, Becca McBride Holt and her husband, Matthew Holt, Matthew McBride and Sam McBride and her great-granddaughter, Caroline Cooke Holt – all of which she was endlessly proud of. For each accomplishment, birthday and life change, they would receive a call or letter to express full-hearted congratulations. She wanted to be there for each special moment and she was, including a wedding in Italy, a wedding in North Carolina and even a trip to York Harbor, Maine just a week before her death to visit with her nieces one last time.

Each morning Joanne would say prayers for her friends and family, distant and close, devoting her first moment in the day to others. Joanne was a member of the Old North Church in Marblehead for 30 years where she attended services most Sundays and adored singing always! Each night, she would have her signature cocktail, a gin and tonic. When there was music playing, it didn't matter if she knew it or not, Joanne would dance, and she would sing, she was always full of spirit. As Joanne would say, "a happy and good disposition leads to a life of longevity." And for 91 years, it certainly did.

A celebration of Life Memorial will be held at the Old North Church, 35 Washington Street in Marblehead on August 4, 2018 at 11 a.m.

Memorial donations may be made to any Animal Rescue or Charity of your choice.

Upcoming Funeral Services

Saturday, August 04
11:00 AM    3715999 3812556 20180804T110000

Old North Church

35 Washington Street Marblehead, MA