DOROTHY "COOKIE" GUNNING
Nov. 6, 1921 - Aug. 20, 2013
Dorothy "Cookie" Gunning, 91, of El Centro, passed away on Tuesday, August 20, 2013.
Dorothy was born on November 6, 1921 in Callao, MO. She was known as "The Fabulous Cookie" by the folks at The Valley Retirement Inn in Holtville. Cookie can't escape her nickname. She started life as Dorothy Cook in Callao, MO. Try as she might, Dorothy just wouldn't stick. Dorothy had attended a one room school in Callao until the eighth grade. She had to grow up quickly when her mother died in childbirth when Cookie was only 7. She started taking piano lessons when she was 11 years old. Up to that time she played the piano by ear. She played the piano at the ceremony when her father remarried when she was 16 years old. She graduated from Callao High School in Callao, MO. When she was 18 years old she entered nurses training at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. where she received her R.N. degree. She started working for Dr. Elmer Werner in 1960 till 1995. Throughout the years Cookie has played the piano and organ for various churches, clubs and Masonic groups. She received many awards from Volunteers of America. While working as a nurse she played for groups in the evenings. She would play regularly throughout the day and night at Valley Convalescent Hospital in El Centro, Valley Retirement Inn in Holtville and Imperial Manor in Imperial. In Brawley she entertained residents at the Imperial Valley Adult Day Health Care Center and Imperial Oasis. Along with playing the piano Cookie enjoyed gardening, crossword puzzles and filling scrapbooks with pictures, puns and amusing incidents that she shares with the residents of the retirement homes. She loved her pets and most of all her music.
Cookie was survived by her children, Mike and Pat Gunning, both of El Centro and Judy Salisbury of Placentia, CA; grandchildren, Lori Lundberg and Brian Salisbury; 2 great-grandchildren, Finley and Lucas Salisbury; brother, Howard Cook; nephews, Bill, Bob and Jim Cook; and numerous great nephews and nieces.