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Karen Kay Cooke
August 5, 1960 – October 6, 2020
Karen Cooke gained her wings and went to be with the Lord on the evening of October 6, 2020 after succumbing to her injuries from a tragic accident, she was 60 years old. Karen was born Karen K. Curry in Joplin, Mo. on August 5, 1960 to parents Robert E. Lee and Barbara Jean Curry. The family moved to Bakersfield when Karen was two years old and she grew up in the Oildale area where she attended all the local schools: Wingland, Standard, and North High as part of the graduating class of 1978. After high school she met and married her first husband Chris in 1980 and became a Herron, they had two children: Tony and Traci. Later in life Karen met and married her true love James E. Cooke Sr. and gained three bonus children. In her younger years Karen worked for K-Mart, Zippy's Liquor, and Sir Lube, eventually she began working in the schools. Karen started with the Kern High School District in 1996 at her alma mater, North High, becoming the best Lunch Lady around. After NHS, Karen transferred to Foothill High School where the cafeteria became her labor of love, and her final position as she retired in 2018. Karen was a lover of the Lord and recommitted herself to Him in 2019. She enjoyed crafting, shopping, family, the beach, her dogs, adventures with Jim, and more than anything being a Gam/Baa. Her grandbabies were her biggest blessings and gave her meaning in life. Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Barbara, and her sister Christy Whitfield. She was survived by her husband of 16 years, Jim, who gained his wings and joined Her and the Lord just two weeks later. Karen leaves behind her son Tony Herron and wife Miranda. Her daughter Traci Starnes and husband Chad. Her son Jimi Cooke, daughters Jami Matteucci and husband Jeremy, and Kimi Hazel and husband Allan. Her brother Bob Curry and wife Cathy, sister Suanne Ashmore and husband Mike, and brother in law, Mike Whitfield. Many nieces, nephews, extended family members, and dear friends. And her four greatest gifts, her pride and joys, her grandbabies: Matthew Herron, Kayleeann Starnes, Jesi Matteucci and Barrett Hazel. Karen was the greatest Mom, Gam/Baa, and friend we could have ever asked for. She will be missed more than we can put into words. We love you Mom, always, and know you are enjoying playing cards in heaven as you and Jim are forever Cooken2gether. Services will be held on November 12, 2020 an 10am at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary, 9101 Kern Canyon Road, Bakersfield, Ca. 93306. A viewing will be held at Kern River Family Mortuary, 1900 North Chester Ave., Bakersfield, Ca. 93308, on November 11, 2020 from 6pm-8pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please donate to The American Cancer Society.
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