- Mini Penny
On Sept. 29, 2012, Helen Ione Stephens Cook, 93, formerly of Heavener, went peacefully in her sleep to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, at her home in Sun City, Calif., where she had resided with her daughter and son-in-law, Joyce and Trell Mercer, since July 2010.
One of seven children, she was born Sept. 7, 1919, to the late Elsie M. and William P. Stephens in Laramie, Wyo. Helen graduated from Laramie High School in 1935 and majored in music at Phillips University in Enid.
She married the late Rev. A. Paul Cook in 1937, a graduate of Phillips University and together they ministered to churches in Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska and founded a mission in Kyushu, Japan, during the post-World War II occupation.
In 1958, they received a call from the Kiamichi Mountains Christian Mission and ministered to Christian Churches in Nashoba, Divide, Snow and Albion.
Helen was an accomplished musician who taught piano to many children in the local communities. She ministered through piano and musical education. Helen returned to college and received her bachelorâ€™s degree in music education in 1980.
Helen taught music in Whitesboro Public Schools for 20 years and was passionate about making a difference in the lives of her students with her dedication to the teaching of music. She had a special gift, sharing her creativity with her students by writing original musical compositions for recitals and performances.
She played piano at Heavener First Christian Church for many years, and had acquired many friends at Heavener First Baptist Church also, where she was known and loved. Those who knew Helen described her as being â€śfull of good works.â€ť
She had 16 private piano students in Heavener where she presented two recitals yearly. She retired from private teaching at age 90 and moved to Sun City.
Helen is survived by her four daughters: Phyllis Valens, Derby, Kan.; Joyce Mercer, Sun City; Ruth Elizabeth Cook, Tahlequah; and Lydia Benbrook, Alma, Ark. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. Helen is also survived by her brothers, Morris and Ray Stephens.
A memorial service will be held Oct. 13 in Sun City at His Light on the Hill Assembly of God under the direction of Miller-Jones Mortuary. A second memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at First Baptist Church in Heavener, with burial in Talihina Cemetery.
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