Wanda Darleen Cook
Last updated 11/25/2020 at 5:35pm
Wanda Darleen Pickrell Cook, of Pisgah Forest died peacefully at home in her sleep Nov. 13, 2020.
A child of God, her faith was a deep expression of who she was and how she lived. She was born June 5, 1935 in Prunedale, Calif. to the late Henry H. Pickrell and Myrtle Ione Winter Pickrell. Her early education began in a one-room schoolhouse, and high school was completed in Yreka where her father worked in supervision of the California Highway Maintenance. She went to Shasta College in Redding, Calif., majoring in elementary education and music. She married Ted von Allworden in 1954. Together they raised four children.
Working for TRW, in 1974, her husband was given the opportunity to work in Alice Springs, Australia. This gave her and her family the opportunity to travel the world, experience different cultures, and time growing up in the Outback. While there, she, a talented and seasoned musician, established the first high school marching band in that country, and created the high school drama program, directing two musicals a year. She also, as an accompanist, toured with a world-class bassoonist across northern Australia. In 1982 they returned to California and later moved to the Pisgah Forest area in North Carolina. Together they worked with the Brevard Little Theater organization, where they both acted and directed, and where she served a term as president.
Following her husband’s death in 1994, she worked with Head Start home teaching underprivileged children along with parents. She was a member, Elder and organist in the Etowah Presbyterian Church. In 2000, she married Rev. Thomas C. Cook Jr., a Presbyterian minister. They have been greatly involved in peace work for many years as missionaries with The House of Hope International Peace Center in the Holy Land.
Survivors include her husband, Tom; a brother, John Pickrell; her three sons, Michael, Ron and Brian von Allworden; a daughter, Kim, in Australia; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren scattered in California, Virginia, Arizona and Australia; numerous nieces and nephews.
A loving stepmother, she and her husband always considered each other’s extended family a part of their own.
A burial service was held at the Davidson River Cemetery to be followed by memorial services in Etowah, California and/or Arizona, when pandemic shutdowns open.
Memorials in Wanda’s memory and marked for The House of Hope may be given in care of: Etowah Presbyterian Church at P.O. Box, 384, Etowah, NC 28729.