Eleanor Edith Aiken a Skagit county pioneer, age 93, passed away Thursday August 26 2010 at her home in Mount Vernon after a short illness. She was born May 19, 1917 in Lyman Washington.
Her mother was Edith Minkler Cook who died several months after Eleanor was born of the Spanish flu which was a pandemic during 1917-1918.
Her father was William Cook who emigrated from Richmond England in the early 1900's to Skagit County. He rose through the ranks of the Clear Lake Lumber Co. and later became a successful lumber broker in Chicago.
Her grandfather also named William Cook was a Parliamentary Agent and Lord Mayor of Richmond England when he died in 1916.
Her grandfather on her mother's side was the Honorable Birdsey D. Minkler who was a Senator and pioneer mill owner in the Lyman area.
Upon the death of her mother, Eleanor was raised by her aunt Maude Minkler Vanderford & her husband Bert Vanderford who was the Lyman postmaster and partner in the family lumber mill. Maude was one of the first white children in the upper Skagit Valley having settled their with her parents Birdsey and Hanna Chisholm Minkler in 1877.
Her two sisters were raised by their father William Cook. Eleanor was raised in the Minkler mansion which is now the Lyman City hall and graduated from Sedro Woolley High School.
She married Al Aiken and helped him in his successful real estate career. Al preceded her in death in 1996. During their retirement until Al's death they spent winters at their home in Lake Havasu City Arizona.
Eleanor had many stories to tell about her family's pioneer history in the upper Skagit Valley area. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother and will be greatly missed by all.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her parents, husband and two sisters.
She is survived by her only child Michael Aiken and his wife Cherri of Acme, WA; five grandchildren, Pat Aiken and his wife Amparo of Concrete, WA, Sean Aiken and his wife Audrey of Hood River OR, Christopher Aiken of Mount Vernon, WA, Kelly Aiken and his wife Heidi of McMinnville, OR and Rachael and Jason Gagnon of Bend, OR; step-grandchildren, Dustin and Robin Ozaki, Burlington, Darci and Benjamin Oliver, Burlington. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Vanessa, Arielle, Alex and Andy Aiken of Concrete, Zoe and Van of Hood River and Cruz and Austin of Bend, Sean and Matthew, McMinnville, OR, Derek, Eamon, Chase and Jade all of Burlington. She is also survived by her dog Toby who will miss her very much.
The family would like to give special thanks to Rita Pena who helped care for Eleanor. Her loving concern and kindness met so much to Eleanor. Ela helped care for Eleanor.
Viewing will be held Monday, August 30, 2010, 9:00 am until 2:00 pm at Hawthorne Funeral Home, followed by a graveside service, 3:00 pm at Hawthorne Memorial Park Mausoleum.
Please share your thoughts of Eleanor and sign the online guest register at www.hawthornefh. com.
Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, 1825 E College Way, Mount Vernon.