I first met her in a dingy old auto body shop in Albany. She was wrapped in her husband’s (Sonny) arm. They (Sonny & Jo) were coddling each other while they peered upon an old Buick, that seemed to have been past it’s prime. Day after day I would bring parts, paint, and tools to this old body shop. Day after day they would be there watching Mike and helping work on their old Buick.
Jo, she was one of those people that could light up a dingy body shop with her smile. She seemed to have so much energy! I began to anticipate bringing things to Art’s Auto Body, and was saddened if Jo & Sonny were not there (which wasn’t often).
Jo had much more than a car when it was finished. Actually, the car was a bi-product of something much bigger. Jo had passion! Jo had love! No matter where Jo went Sonny was there, lurking in the shadows. He supported her every action, and while she fluttered around every event like a butterfly, he wouldn’t take his eyes off of her. They had a story book relationship.
I can’t remember the first time that I found out that Jo had been battling cancer for quite some time, but I know it was at least 15 years ago. Since then I can’t recall the number of times I had seen her start to “thin down” and lose her hair, but she always sprang back, and the next time I seen her she was as vibrant as ever. It was as if the ‘C’ had fed her to be stronger.
Dad’s text message this morning said “The Lord took Jo Ellen this morning. The world will be a more sad place now. We will miss her”. I texted back, “No dad, the world is a much happier place with a temporary sadness.
R.I.P. Jo Ellen Cook and thank you! Thank you for everything!