Marcia was employed by the Adair County School System, teaching eighth grade at Adair County Middle School where she also served as cheerleading coach. She was a member of Columbia Baptist Church, and a member of the Columbia-Adair County Jay Cees.
The funeral service will be Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. at the Adair County High School John Burr Memorial Gym, with Rev. Randy Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Columbia Cemetery.
Visitation after 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Grissom Funeral Home.
EULOGY for MARCIA McKINLEY COOK
delivered Sunday, May 18, 2003, by Principal Donald McKinney:
Les, Fay, Peanut, Joey, Anna, Les, Tricia, Mitzi, Mitchell, Mark and other family members, I feel honored to stand before you today to say a few words.
In big time sports and show business, yhou know you have made it when you are identified by one name - Shaq - Cher, - and Tiger, to name just a few.
When I came to the middle school, one of my first encounters with the staff was when I went to see the cheerleaders off to camp. The girls were all excited and I kept hearing several of them referring to their sponsor simply as Marcia. At first I felt compelled to tell them it was Ms. Cook. However, she just responded to their questions and then it hit me. Here was a lady who had attained what many of us strive for - self contentment. There were no pretensions in her life. She attained that first name status, and that's what today is about - Marcia.
Our theme at ACMS this year was woven around Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken". I can relate to you today that I along with our staff at ACMS and Jane Branham and her staff at John Adair Intermediate School feel fortunate that we took the same path that Marcia took and we all walked it together.
There are lots of stories about Marcia that acould be told today but that will come in time as we all reflect on her life.
Marcia was a good teacher and she liked kids - that's evident by all of the kind words they wrote about her. In addition to teaching, however, she was for 15 years a cheerleading coach - 2 at ACMS.
When I shared with a principal in Hardin County I had returned to work at a middle school his first words were, in a joking manner of course was, "McKinney, you mean you are going to have cheerleaders and their moms to deal with again?" Not to worry, I said, Marcia Cook is our sponsor and she can handle anything.
If a problem ever did arise she would approach me with those eyes shining and a grin on her face and pretty soon there was no problem. I also knew if it got too complicated she would contact Sandy Wilson who would contact me and with Sandyt and Marcia teaming together I didn't stand much of a chance.
This year Marcia took a diverse group of girls and shaped them into an ourstanding cheerleading team. Everytime they would take the floor someone would jokingly note that it looked like half the school were cheerleaders. Marcia was proud of them as were we.
I believe I communicated pretty well with Marcia, however, Sandra Vanarsdale shared with me yesterday that at camp this past summer Marcia approached her in this manner, "I know you are friends with the McKinney's so help me out. There's a music vacancy at ACMS and he mentioned it to me. I'm afraid he's going to put me in music and I can't sing. He just flusters me."
Cheerleading was a legacy of hers but I believe she began another one this year with her baby program. Every week she would send out seven battery operated babies who seemingly could cry on implulse. At first there was a lot of consternation, however, it subsided under her guidance. To show how intense her program was, I had a young man in my office and we were having a rather protracted conversation when he abruptly arose and headed for the door. When I inquired as to what he was doing, he replied, "My baby's crying." We finished the conversation with the baby on his knee. Marcia got a great laugh out of this story.
This year we began a program to lock our doors for safety reasons. I found out later that Marcia would indeed lock her door - however she would go out in the hall and leave her keys in the room. She would always find a master key from someone other than me - I believe she was still afraid I would talk to her about the music position.
I could go on and on, however, it's pretty evident what I and others think of her. She worked on a State Committee for Health, did the yearbook, served on a previous based council, was coordinator for Secret Pals and perhaps as importantly as anything else was a confidante for other teachers. She exhibited a bubbly personality and from what I can discern from Jan Woody, lunchtime with her at the teacher's study was a blast for all concerned. She did a lot in education for many years.
TODAY WE CELEBRATE MARCIA'S LIFE AND HER JOY OF LIVING. Mr. Young, we have lost a dedicated and caring teacher.
Perhaps one of our students, Katie Lavictoire, summed it up best by writing, "You mean a lot to the students and staff. You'll never really be gone."
This obituary was made possible through the support of Grissom Funeral Home, established in 1926, located one block off the square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia. To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone 270-384-2149, or