Barbara Redford Cook passed away on August 5, 2023, in Salt Lake City, UT, at the age of 91. Barbara was born on January 31, 1932, in Provo, UT. She was the oldest of three children born to Louisa Magleby Redford Woodmansee and Lloyd Hubbard Redford.
Barbara's parents divorced when she was five years old, and as a child of a single mother, she attended school in Monroe, UT, Ogden, UT, Mt. Pleasant, UT, and Salt Lake City, UT. In the fifth grade, she attended three different elementary schools. Barbara’s mother was a home economics teacher, and she taught Barbara how to make her own clothes, cook, and can fruits and vegetables.
Barbara graduated from East High School in Salt Lake City, UT, and attended the University of Utah. She was an officer in Lambda Delta Sigma, an LDS student organization. At the U of U, she received her Social Studies Composite degree in 1953 with an emphasis on psychology and sociology. She taught social studies, civics, Utah history, and language arts at Central Jr. High School from 1953–1956. At Olympus High School, she taught psychology, economics, and world history from 1956–1962.
Barbara met her sweetheart, John Howard Cook Jr., at the U of U. They dated and were engaged on and off for seven years while John was attending medical school and residency training. They finally eloped to the Salt Lake Temple on December 19, 1958.
John and Barbara were members of the Sacra Dulce Chorus and enjoyed lifelong friendships from that association. They also had a wonderful group of friends, the Key Club, who have met together monthly for over 60 years.
Barbara had six children in seven years. Being a mother was a joy for her. She was a full-time mother but managed to be gracious with her time, including serving in the community.
When Barbara's children were mostly grown, she returned to school to renew her teaching certification and received a media certificate. From 1985–1996, she was a media coordinator at Philo T. Farnsworth Elementary School in West Valley City, UT. She was always passionate about children's literature and helped create a children's literature book club, which started when she had her first child and is still meeting today. While she served as a librarian, she was selected by the Utah Legislature as one of the outstanding teachers in the state. She also received the award for outstanding library media coordinator for the state of Utah from the Utah Library Educators (ULEMA). She was both the president and the secretary of the Children's Literature Association of Utah (CLAU).
Barbara loved to travel and visited many places overseas. She also loved the Utah Shakespeare Festival and, since 1961, has been to the festival for all but three of its seasons. Barbara loved art and was accomplished in both pastels and oils. She enjoyed the Utes sporting events and had season tickets to the U of U basketball since 1969 when the Huntsman Center opened. She also loved to tie quilts, and many sessions of LDS general conference were listened to while stretching a quilt across frames and creating baby gifts for friends and ward members.
Barbara was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She held many callings, including stake missionary, Relief Society instructor, Stake Primary, nursery leader, Relief Society President, Primary President, and many others. She was blessed to serve as an adult missionary in the California San Diego mission office. She had a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ and exemplified His teachings.
Barbara had thirteen grandchildren: John (Sharayah) Cook IV, Michael (Rachel) Cook, Peter (Megan) Cook, Joseph (Mysti) Wright, Carl Wright, Paul Wright, Steven Wright, Elizabeth (Colton) Anderson, Kara Cook, Hannah Cook, Heidi Cook, Jack (Sara Matlock) Markman, and Kate Markman. She had two great-grandchildren: Samuel Cook and James Joshua Cook.
Barbara is preceded in death by her husband; parents; stepparents, Roy Woodmansee and Addie Butcher Redford; and brother, David Redford. As a widow of 37 years, she often talked about the glorious reunion she would have with John and her other loved ones. She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Redford Folsom; her children, Carolee (Todd) Wright, John (Natalie) Cook III, Mary Cook, Katie Cook, David (Kristin) Cook, and Sherrie (Bart) Markman; thirteen grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and eight nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 12, at 11:00 am, at the Yale Ward meetinghouse, 1431 Gilmer Drive, Salt Lake City. Viewing, Friday, August 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, August 12, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., also at the Yale Ward. Interment, Salt Lake City Cemetery.
For those unable to attend, services will be streamed via Zoom. Please visit Barbara's obituary page at www.larkinmortuary.com for information