Ernesta's Story

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Ernesta Cook, 83, formerly of Westville, passed away peacefully Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, at her residence in California.
She was born Oct. 16, 1933, in Westville to James and Estelle (Dupont) Balsamello.
Ernesta married Vernon Cook on Aug. 14, 1954, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Westville. They were married 60 years until his death Nov. 18, 2014.
Surviving are her son, Brian; grandchildren, Jessica Cook, Jacob Cook and Daniel Cook; and great-grandchild, Rhett Cook; along with three nieces, six nephews and several cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sons, Carl Cook and Glen Cook; and brother, James Balsamello Jr.
Ernesta graduated from Westville High School along with her husband in 1951. Ernesta worked various clerical jobs in the area and retired from the clerk's office at the Vermilion County Courthouse. After retirement, she volunteered delivering meals for the Meals on Wheels program, as well as volunteering at the library at St. Mary's School.
For decades she was an active member of the Westville Women's Club, raising money for various causes. She was a lifetime member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Westville. She was a member of the St. Mary's Alter & Rosary Society and also a member of The American Legion Post 51 Women's Auxiliary.
Ernesta's greatest joy came from time spent with her children and grandchildren. Though she was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, she remained active and still enjoyed shopping, walks around the block and other outings until recently. Fortunately, she was able to bless those around her with the biggest of smiles almost until the end of her life.
Due to her son recently being involved in a major accident, a Mass of Christian Burial will be at a later date at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Westville, Ill., with burial of ashes at Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Westville.
Memorials in Ernesta's name may be made to the charity of your choice. Condolences may be sent to Cook Family, 214 South Street, Westville, IL 61883.
Ernesta's son, Brian, would like to express his sincerest appreciation to the wonderful people of Westville and beyond, many of whom were life-long friends of both Ernesta and Vernon. It is those enduring friendships that sustained them throughout their lives. Brian would also like to thank Ernesta's caregivers, Carol Claire and Dana Matei, whom formed special friendships with her during recent years.
Published on August 28, 2017
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