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Sally Phinney Cooke

April 1, 1939 ~ January 5, 2021 (age 81)


Sally Phinney Cooke, aged 81, of Grand Rapids, MI. Born in Toledo, OH to (the late) parents Charles J. Phinney Jr. and Virginia Phinney, Sally was a descendant of one of Monroe, Michigan’s oldest families. 

Loving mother to Steve Cooke and Kathryn (Scott) Zerega. Cherished Grammy to Piper and Miller. Devoted sister to (the late) Susan Nelson and sister-in-law to Doug (Sylvia) Nelson. Dear aunt to Chip Nelson and Julie (Michael) Wojnar and great-nieces Katie, Grace, Anna, Alivia and Sofia.

Sally was an amazing special education teacher who impacted the lives of her students during her many years of teaching in Vicksburg, MS. She also found incredible happiness in a later career loving and caring for “her babies” at the hospital daycare in Grand Rapids, MI.

Sally was a devoted Michigan State fan, proud to be a Spartan and MSU alum, she spent countless hours watching MSU football and basketball games. She was green and white through and through, even jokingly claiming Coach Izzo as her boyfriend. She cherished the friendships of her life-long Gamma Phi sorority sisters and eagerly anticipated each gathering or conversation.

She also enjoyed new experiences and friendships with the Red Hat Society, finding much joy in their red and purple outings. Those close to her knew how the Red Hatters  complimented Sally's zesty spirit and attitude.

Sally loved to travel and would jump at the chance to see new places with her beloved friends.  She explored most of Europe shortly after college graduation and throughout the remainder of her life, she visited nearly every state in the US. She also went on several cruises to the Caribbean and enjoyed other big trips to Alaska, China, Hawaii, Mexico and a safari to Africa.

She will be dearly missed by friends and family. Following her wishes, cremation has taken place. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 11 W. 3rd St., Monroe, MI 48161 or to Emmanuel Hospice, 401 Hall St SW #263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

More information will be available in late April regarding details of a memorial service, interment and a celebration to be held in Monroe, MI to honor her life and memory.

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Trinity Episcopal Church
11 W. 3rd St., Monroe MI 48161

Emmanuel Hospice
2161 Leonard Street NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504
Tel: 1-616-719-0919

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