Cookie grew up in Romney, West Virginia, a small town of 2500 people. As she tells it, “ We had one stop light and Barney and Hooter were the local police”. She and her sister were taught the importance of strong values and helping others. They enjoyed the freedom of a small town, playing with neighborhood kids, performing plays in the back yard and riding their bikes around town. “ Going ‘up street’ to the local drugstore for a soda was always fun”.
“ I met my husband Jim, the love of my life, in California. He had two children and I had one from previous marriages. Our dream was to someday live in the Rocky Mountains”. It took a few moves and more than a few years to finalize that dream. From California, they moved to Texas, then to Breckenridge and in 1979 to Vail. In 1987 they moved to Atlanta then on to Jacksonville, Florida. In 1994, they moved back to Vail and the Rocky Mountains where Jim works in Real Estate Management and Cookie spends her time volunteering and fundraising.
Cookie considers her family the most important thing in her life. Health and happiness are also important components for her quality life. She hopes to continue her work with children and when Jim retires, “to do a lot of flying, do some float plane flying in Alaska and spend a lot of time fly fishing”. When she’s not volunteering, Cookie likes to ski, play tennis and read. She loves to travel, “I like to go places that are not the normal, like the Big Horn River in Montana and hiking in out of the way spots and I love to spend time with my grandkids”.
Volunteering in the community is tops on Cookie’s list. Her volunteer activities include, Bravo, Vail Valley Music Festival: Board of Trustees, Chair of the Education Committee, Co-Chair for 2003’s Summer Gala.
Literacy Project: Board of Directors, Volunteer Tutor through the Study Friends program, Tutor for Middle School students, Co-Chair for the annual fundraiser Fashion Show.
Vail Valley Foundation: Volunteer for World Cup, American Ski Classic, World Forum, World Championship.
Casa of the Continental Divide: Volunteers on fundraising efforts.
Jimmy Heuga Center: Volunteers on fundraising events.
Which social event is your favorite? Our summer Fashion Show for the Literacy Project and the Bravo Music Festival
Favorite Restaurant? Pepi’s and Grouse Mountain Grill
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Christopher Reeves, he is amazing and an inspiration to all of us.
If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? This is a tough one. I want to say someone sexy with long legs, like Michelle Pfeiffer, but my daughter thinks I look like Sally Field, so-oh, well.
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? I’d like to go to New Zealand and hike the Medford Trail and I’d like to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef.
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That I’m a person who likes a warm and cozy feeling … with a flair!
What word describes you best? Down to earth
How would you like others to describe you? Dependable, generous
If you could come back in another lifetime, what would you be? (Laughingly) Someone with long legs, long blonde hair, endowed and with a small behind.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I worry too much and want everything perfect.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Dishonesty.
What is your greatest indulgence? Red Velvet Cake
What is the best gift you have ever given? My love to my kids and my family
What is the best gift you have received? Jewelry box from my kids for my 50th birthday.
What or who is the greatest love in your life? My husband, Jim and my children
What is your current state of mind? I feel very excited and happy to be alive and (living) in these beautiful Rocky Mountains. After 50 is the best time of your life.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Graduating Magna Cum Laude from UNF at age 46.
What is your most treasured possession? My father always carried a pocket New Testament with him. When he died last year, my Mom gave it to me. He had written all along the edges. It is very special.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Sincerity and sensitivity
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Enthusiasm and compassion
Favorite books/writers? My all time favorite- Life and Death in Shanghai, Nein Cheng. It’s an amazing story. Inspirational books, just recently read, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
What is the best advice you have ever received? (About) The importance of education and to never stop learning
What person in your life made a difference? My grandmother, she was a lady before her time. She understood me even better than my Mother. I could talk to her about anything.
How would you like to be remembered? As a caring and giving person especially for the children.
Do you have a motto? Enjoy life and the moment! My dad used to say, ‘ Boy, how time flies’. It’s so true.