Ronda Kay Showalter Cook, 67, passed away Tuesday, November 2nd in Manhattan, Ks. She was fully vaccinated and succumbed to complications from COVID.
Ronda was born in Parsons, Kansas on January 31, 1954, to Charles Marion and Wilma (Bailey) Showalter. She was the third of four children and the only girl. Living on the family farm until she was 14, Ronda attended schools in South Mound and Erie. In 1972 she graduated from Thayer High School. After High School, Ronda went to Neosho County Community Junior College, then on to Emporia State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and subsequently a Master of Arts in Special Education. Ronda loved teaching, but not as much as she loved her students, their families, her family, and her friends. People were valuable to Ronda, and she never thought twice about finding ways to help others, to encourage them, or to bake something delicious to bring to them. She was creative and meticulous in organizing details, and she used these gifts to enrich the lives of the people around her. Her participation in various community and church organizations was a highlight of her life, as she often talked about the joy it brought her to contribute to the greater good. After retiring from her job teaching, Ronda continued to volunteer at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community, the Good Shepherd Hospice House, the First United Methodist Church in Wamego, KS, The Thrift Shop, the Worship Team at church, and several women’s groups. She was known for staying connected to others with cards, texts, and email.
Ronda married Joe L. Cook (d. 6/5/2011) on July 21, 1974 in Thayer, KS. Their relationship was inspirational as they continued to grow in love and devotion to one another throughout their married life. They often said, “We may not be perfect, but we are perfect for each other.” Ronda said she looked forward to being reunited with Joe in Heaven and wants the memory of their loving relationship to be evident in how she is memorialized. Ronda is survived by her brother, Ren Showalter (Carrol), Parker, Colorado; her brother and sister-in-law Robert L. Cook (Diane) and Nancy M. Martin, both of Shawnee, Kansas; her nieces and nephews: Michele R. Showalter, Mary E. Showalter-Osborn, Kristen M. Showalter Andrews (Chris), Cortney J. Showalter Kante (Moussa), John. R. Cook (Kelly), Lewis J. Cook, Jeffrey A. Nelson, Lisa A. Everhart (Chad), and several great nieces and nephews. Ronda was preceded in death by her parents C. Marion and Wilma (Bailey) Showalter, brother Charles M. Showalter, Jr. and his wife Joyce (Burnette) Showalter, husband Joseph L. Cook, and brother Joe Martin Showalter. A Service of Celebration will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 12, 2021, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel in Manhattan. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 Saturday, November 13, 2021 at the East Hill Cemetery in Erie, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Life Choice Ministries, Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice, Emporia State University, or the Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research Kansas State University. Contributions may be sent in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502. Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com