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Bette Jane Cook

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Bette Jane Cook

Bette Cook, a long time resident of the Peninsula, died January 6, 2012. Bette was born in Los Angeles in 1919. She attended USC and was married for almost 70 years to Lloyd Cook, who preceded her in death in 2007. Bette and Lloyd moved to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in 1949. She was the first PTA President of Valmonte Elementary School. She went on to be the First PTA Council President for the Palos Verdes School District and eventually became the California State PTA Council President. Bette also spearheaded the Unification of the Palos Verdes Unified School District and was instrumental on the state level for Palos Verdes to break away from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Bette was a founding member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Community Coordinating Councils and soon became Los Angeles County Community Coordinating Council President. She then became California State Community Coordinating Council President. Bette was also very involved with the Los Angeles Crime Commission and was subsequently appointed to a position on that commission by then Supervisor Burton Chase. Bette was later appointed to the State Crime Commission by then Governor Pat Brown. Bette was also very involved in the Neighborhood Church. She was on the Board of Christian Education and taught Sunday school in the early 1950's. The Cook family was one of the few first families to attend church services at the Haggerty Estate. Bette always cared about the youth of the community so she helped her husband, Lloyd, start the first Little League baseball teams on the Peninsula. Lloyd was one of the first of four coaches that year in 1954. Bette, by herself, started the first Youth Employment Service for the Peninsula which had its offices over the old drug store in Malaga Cove. Bette was honored in 1958 as "Citizen of the Year" for Los Angeles County. After her husband retired, they moved to Palm Springs and then later to Sun Lakes in 1995. Lloyd and Bette divided their time between Sun Lakes and their summer home in Montana . Still driving, playing bridge, walking every day, water aerobic classes, and Harley rides when offered, she was very active! Lloyd and Bette were devoted parents and devoted grandparents. Bette left three children, Carol Hicks of Camarillo, Greg Cook of Santa Barbara, and Dee Keese of Palos Verdes; 16 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. An unfortunate accident kept her from reaching 100 years old, but she is definitely happy to be with her best friend Lloyd smiling down at us all. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Jan. 14, 2012
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