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Juanita Cook

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Juanita Cook

1936 - 2013 POWNAL, VT Juanita Whitney Cook, 76, a resident of Pownal, died Saturday, March 2, 2013, following years of living with a disabling physical condition. Her death came as a result of a stroke.

She was born on December 16, 1936, in Jamestown, NY, daughter of Leo and Helen (Fleming) Whitney. She attended schools in Jamestown and earned an AA degree in music during her senior year of high school. Juanita went on to graduate from the University of Buffalo in 1959 and later acquired a master's in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Vermont. Juanita and her former husband, Gerald Cook, moved to Clarendon Springs in the early '60s. During that time, she worked as a speech therapist at the Brandon Training School, served on the school board, and was the organist/choir director at the Pittsford Congregational Church.

In 1972, she moved to Pownal where she continued her career as a speech/language pathologist. She made a difference in the lives of many through her work in the public schools of Bennington and Hoosick Falls, as well as Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, rehab centers in Bennington, home health agencies in Bennington and Manchester, and private practice. In mid career, she was twice listed in Who's Who in American Women. Juanita served on the Board of Directors of Bennington Project Independence, the Epilepsy Association of Vermont, and at the time of her death was a member of the State Independent Living Council. She had been past president of SILC and currently its secretary.

Over the years, Juanita has enjoyed several activities. Among her long term interests were planes (she soloed in her teens), bird watching, bottle and rock hunting, photography, reading, and advocating for disability rights. Although unable to play the organ as her disability increased, it remained a passion. She is a member of Unity School of Religion.

Juanita is survived by her son, Daryl Cook and significant other Kimberly of Pownal and her sons, Jeffrey Jennings of Pownal and Nicholas Smith of Stamford; her grandsons, Dustin Westfall of Jacksonville, FL and Derek Parizo of Stamford; her great-granddaughter, Alaina Westfall; Beth Cheadle, her longtime friend and companion; and Haiku, Mee-Too and Jiminy Cricket, the special cats in her life.

MEMORIAL NOTICE: At an undetermined time in the future, a memorial service will be held at Bennington Project Independence. An announcement will be published in this newspaper.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Bennington Project Independence in care of HANSON WALBRIDGE & SHEA FUNERAL HOME, 213 West Main Street, Bennington, 05201.

To send personal e-mail condolences, please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.


Published in Bennington Banner on Mar. 4, 2013
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