Cora Ella (Hensley) Cooke passed away in Lexington, KY on June 15, 2023. She was born on January 21, 1934 at home in Sibert, Kentucky. Her mother, Ella Gregory Hensley, passed as a result of the childbirth and her father, James S. Madison Hensley, raised her until he passed, too, when she was seven. She moved to Manchester when she was taken in by her half-brother Clyde Hensley, his wife Hallie and their children. She attended Horse Creek Baptist Church, where she sang in the choir. She graduated from Clay County High School in 1952 and attended college at both Union and Eastern Kentucky University, majoring in education. Cora met Julian L. Cooke while in her car in the town square when he opened the back door, slid into the car and said “Hi, I’m Julian Cooke, who are you?” After dating for about a year, they were married at Horse Creek Baptist Church in October of 1955. They had two daughters, and eventually moved to Louisville, KY; then to Knoxville, TN and finally to Midway, KY outside of Lexington.
She worked as a nursery school teacher for most of her life, enjoying the work with small children.
Cora enjoyed music, both as a singer and as a listener, and one time appeared at Renfro Valley and sang over the radio. She was particularly fond of rhythm and blues and traveling by RV with her husband to blues, and occasionally bluegrass, festivals in the Eastern U.S. She was an avid reader, but also loved fishing. She and her husband often took fishing trips and she was an excellent, accurate caster. As a season ticket holder for both UK football and basketball, she enjoyed many games wearing Kentucky blue. She was also a good Appalachian cook and made many dishes without recipes.
She is survived by daughters Cheryl Taylor (Bob), and Sandra Cooke; grandchildren Erin Morris Richard, Casey Morris Kerris (Mark), Cameron Taylor, and Cody Taylor; and step-grandchildren Lisa Taylor Esenbock (Jeremiah), and Brian Taylor. She has one great grandchild, Olive Richard. Clyde Terrance Hensley (Gladys) and Sherrie Hensley Brown are her nephew and niece, but grew up with her as siblings. She has many cousins and great nieces and nephews.
The family would like to recognize and thank the staff of Lexington Premier Nursing & Rehab Center for their excellent care of Cora during the final year of her life.
Funeral Services for Cora Ella (Hensley) Cooke will be conducted on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 1 PM at the Rominger Funeral Home Chapel. Bro. William Hugh Hudson will be presiding. She will be laid to rest in the Manchester Memorial Gardens.
The family will receive friends and loved ones on Tuesday after 11:30 AM at the Rominger Funeral Home Chapel.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Rominger Funeral Home.