William Burton Cook and Totsie Dean Grisham celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on April 24. They were married at Shep, Taylor County, Texas, the evening of April 24, 1943, in the home of Rev. Willie Brown, the local Baptist pastor, with Mrs. Brown as the witness.
Some of their friends made them take off their shoes and walk barefoot through the cemetery back to their house that night. About a year later, Burton was drafted into the U.S. Navy, leaving in July 1944. He served in the Pacific on the USS Oxford, a troop transport ship ferrying 1,500 troops at a time between San Francisco and Manila, and some from Australia to Manila.
After the war, the Cooks moved out west of Lubbock near Morton, Texas, where Burton bought a farm to grow cotton and maize. However, when the first maize crop began to head out, he discovered his hay fever was too severe to work the fields. So, the Cooks moved to White Settlement (Fort Worth) and he went to work at Consolidated (later called General Dynamics, then Lockheed-Martin) as a tool maker/machinist.
Burton and Totsie raised two sons and two daughters, the last son born in Weatherford, where they moved in the summer of 1955. Totsie started a home business in a small shop built next to their home where she sold fabric and sewing supplies. She became well known in Parker County for her good supply of beautiful fabrics and the sewing tips she gave to countless customers over the years.
In 1984, Burton and Totsie moved to a home on Murl’s Lake, near Lake Weatherford, where Totsie could go fishing. She gave up her Cooks Cottons business and, at the end of that year, Burton retired after 32 years at Lockheed-Martin. He was honored with a Lifetime Service Award from North Side Baptist Church on May 1, 2005, where he served many years as a deacon and men’s Bible teacher. Totsie was a longtime children’s Sunday School worker.
After several years traveling in their truck and RV trailer with other couples, the Cooks’ health began to decline. In July 2007 they moved to an assisted-living center in Weatherford. Both are now 88 years old and live in Holland Lake Nursing Center.
The Cooks have four children. William Burton Cook Jr. and his wife, Karen Powell Cook, live in Weatherford. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren, all living in the DFW Metroplex. Sharon Gail West lives in Burleson. She has a daughter and son, four grandchildren and a great-grandchild all living close by. Gwendolyn Marie and Jake Hudson live in Las Vegas, with one daughter and her three children in Idaho and one son and a grandson in Lewisville.
Benny Wedgeworth and Jennittie Stults Cook also live near Weatherford with a son and two grandchildren in Grapevine, and a daughter and husband in Weatherford.
The family is hosting a reception for their parents on Saturday, April 27, 2-4 p.m., at the Holland Lake Nursing Center. Friends are welcome to stop by and greet them.