Ukiah native and longtime resident Lynde Cook marched for her hometown school band, served her country overseas in the National Guard, cherished her family and worked as an upbeat, go-to dispatcher for her co-workers at Ukiah CHP.
A recent celebration of her life included more than 100 people and a CHP honor guard.
Cook, 50, died Nov. 7, after years of battling lung cancer.
Family members and co-workers remembered Cook’s deep love of her son, her kindness and her positive, gregarious personality.
“She was always smiling, a very happy, ‘smiley’ person,” said her mother, Lois Cook of Ukiah.
Lynde Cook spent the first 18 years of her life in Ukiah, growing up on Robinson Creek Ranch with her parents, Waldo and Lois Cook and four siblings.
Musical and athletic, she played baritone saxophone in the Ukiah High School band and highlights from her teen years included marching in the band as well as pitching for the school softball team.
Cook played for years in softball leagues in Sacramento and in Ukiah, including playing in multiple all-state championships, her mother said.
She attended Sacramento State University and then joined the National Guard. Cook served overseas during Operation Desert Storm and was in the guard for about five years.
Lynde Cook was a pound-puppy lover and had great travel memories of trips to Guatemala, South Africa and her service time in Saudi Arabia.
But the best part of her life was her son, Jalen, her mother said.
After her service with the National Guard she and her then young son moved to Ukiah to be closer to family. She worked as a medical assistant at the Ukiah Valley Medical Center before becoming a CHP dispatcher in about 2002.
“She just loved working for the highway patrol,” her mother said.
Working in the Ukiah office, dispatchers handle 911 calls for Mendocino and Lake counties.
“She really had a soft spot in her heart for the Lake County officers,” fellow dispatcher Joanne Vital said. “She had a great sense of humor. She liked talking to people, she liked helping people.”
“She was a wealth of information” for other dispatchers and officers, Vital said. “For technical questions, she was the go-to person.”
As well as her mother and her son, Jalen Cook of Ukiah, she is survived by her sisters, Rhoby Cook of Hoopa and Kristy Cook of Takoma Park, Md., and her brother, Kirby Cook of Hamilton, Mont.
Her ashes were interred at Ukiah Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Ukiah Cancer Resource Center, 590 S. Dora St., Ukiah 95482, the National Foundation for Cancer Research or the Lynde C. Cook Memorial Athletic Scholarship at Ukiah High School.