Joyce Lenora Cook, a devoted postal employee and a member of the Order of Eastern Stars (OES) — Loucelia Chapter #38, has died. She was 65.
Cook, who died on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, was born June 25, 1947, to the late Edward Franklin Cook and Mary Cook in Philadelphia. She had one sibling — a sister, the late Anna Virginia Brown.
At an early age, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized at Union Baptist Church (UBC) in South Philadelphia under the Pastorate of the late Rev. James E. Kirkland. Her lifetime membership and strong family ties at UBC ensured that this was the church home to which she was committed and would faithfully worship. She was an active member and strong supporter of several UBC Ministries. Most notably, she was honored and humbled to join with her fellow UBC members in serving meals to the Homeless during the Holidays. She also served as an Usher and was a proud member of the Scholarship Committee (SC). Her work with the SC allowed her the opportunity to sow into the lives of young people while further promoting her strong personal belief in the power of education.
Cook received her formal education in the School District of Philadelphia. She graduated from Southern High School in 1965 and later pursued higher education by obtaining an associate degree. While growing up, she was an active member of the Girl Scouts of America, where she learned the value of community, friendship and helping others.
Immediately after graduation, she obtained employment with the United States Post Office. She worked there for 37 years. During this time, she excelled professionally by becoming a supervisor, Human Resources Specialist and served in various other capacities. She also made life-long friends during her tenure with the Post Office. She retired in 2002.
Like her mother, she was also an active member of the Order of Eastern Stars (OES) — Loucelia Chapter #38. Cook served the OES in various capacities over the years. From June 2002 to June 2003, she had the privilege of serving as the “Worthy Matron” of her Chapter. She wholeheartedly embraced the commitment to “sisterhood & service” embodied by the OES.
Giving back to the community was a part of Cook’s character. She was a philanthropist who donated to over 15 charities, including but not limited to the Alzheimer’s Association, Covenant House and HelpMeSee.
“Never let grass grow under your feet” and “there is so much to see in the world” were two phrases she learned from her mother and kept in mind while she developed a love for traveling. Cook was a “travel aficionado.” It was common for Cook and her traveling partner, Barbara Johnson, to choose a location, make the travel arrangements, get on a plane and go. She had the great fortune of having traveled to every continent in the world, except Australia, where she had no desire to go because of the historical struggle of the Aboriginal people. In essence, Cook loved to learn about all of humanity and strongly embraced the culture of people of color throughout the world.
Benefiting from strong family values and embracing the importance of respect, responsibility and hard work that she learned from her parents, Cook was a strong-willed person who pursued excellence in all aspects of her life. The manner in which she loved the Lord, served her church, excelled in her career, devoted to her organizational affiliations, and exemplified via her renowned worldly travels and cultural pride are all elements of the foundation upon which Joyce’s feet were firmly planted.
Joyce leaves to cherish her memory: two nieces, Gayle Conley and Brooke Day; three nephews, Joseph Day, Bruce Brown and Jomo Brown; sixteen great-nieces and nephews; sister friends, Hilda, Doris, Ramona, Rosylyn and Sandra; friend, confidante and traveling partner, Barbara Johnson; goddaughter, Cherelle Parker; and a host of cousins, other loved ones and friends.
Service will be held Saturday, Aug. 25 at Union Baptist Church, 1910 Fitzwater St. A viewing will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. with funeral at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Northwood Cemetery, 1501 Haines St. A repast will be held at the church immediately following the burial.