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Obituary for Barbara Jean (Tarver) Cook

Barbara Jean (Tarver) Cook passed away unexpectedly at the age of 79 on March 13, 2017 at Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh.

A celebration of life service for Barbara will be held at 4pm on Friday March 17, 2017 at Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church (1174 Algoma Blvd.) with Rev. Cathy Weigand officiating. Visitation will be held at the church from 2pm until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial gifts be made to the Evergreen Foundation or Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church.

Barbara was loved by her family and many friends. She was born on November 11, 1937 in Quitman, Arkansas to Nelson and Helen (Clark) Tarver. Barbara received a bachelor’s degree at Hendrix College and worked as a schoolteacher in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. She married Kenneth Cook in 1962 in St. Louis, Missouri and became mother to Steven, David, Daniel and Sarah. Later, she returned to school to earn a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and received the University’s Outstanding Student Award for her performance. After receiving her degree, she stayed at the University as the coordinator of the diagnostic center where she oversaw the College of Education’s tutoring service for area school children. She then joined the Professional Education Program as coordinator and then director in 1995 where she helped countless education students earn a college degree and a teaching license in a combined program. For her service at the University, she earned the University’s Outstanding Service Award in 1997. She retired from the University in 2002.

She was an avid reader and a committed member of several book clubs. Barbara enjoyed a challenging puzzle and always had one underway and several next in line. She and Ken loved traveling and made many trips to Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Barbara was a generous contributor to her community and mentor to all those around her. She was a lifelong learner and a strong proponent of education. Barbara was an active member and contributor at Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church. She served as a member of the Wisconsin Annual Conference and on the Board of Ordained Ministry, as well as the ABUMC Church Council and the Staff Parish Relations Committee. She served the Oshkosh branch of the American Association of University Women from 1972 until present in many capacities including President. At Evergreen Retirement Community, Barb served on the Board of Directors and the Evergreen Foundation Board, in addition to her active participation in Evergreen’s social life. She often expressed her thankfulness for the support and friendship of the staff and residents at Evergreen.

She is survived by many family members who will miss her immensely. Her four children: Steven Tarver (Victoria Myint) Cook of Madison, David Edward (Mayumi) Cook of Hong Kong, Daniel Nelson Cook of Minneapolis, and Sarah Jean (Dave) Averkamp of Oshkosh; grandchildren: Margaret Megumi, Helen Nozomi, and Gwendolyn Izumi Cook, and Madeleine Jean and Sophia Faye Averkamp; a nephew, Eric Tarver, and niece Edie Tarver. Barb was preceded in death by her husband Ken, her parents, and her brother Gilbert Tarver.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Barbara Jean (Tarver) Cook, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Algoma Boulevard Methodist Church

1174 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901





4:00 PM
Algoma Boulevard Methodist Church

1174 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901


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