Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Sylvia Celestine Cook ’89

May 25, 2021, in Seattle, Washington, from cardiac arrest.

Sylvia was born in Coronado, California, where her father was a naval officer and her mother a nurse. The family, which moved constantly, was exceedingly close. Sylvia’s mother enrolled her in dance class at an early age to direct her abundant energy. Sylvia kept up her training through many moves, and, after graduating from high school, she spent several years performing in New York and then Hawaii.

At Reed, she wrote her thesis, “The Multiplicity of Satirists in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida,” advised by Prof. Roger Porter [English 1961–2015]. She always said that she spent her time at Reed, and all the following years, trying to climb out of Plato’s cave. After college, Sylvia returned to Hawaii, worked in a variety of administrative roles, and performed in professional and community theatre. Eventually, she moved to Seattle to work in real estate and office management. She directed her still-abundant energy to setting a high but friendly bar for speechmaking at the Ballard branch of Toastmasters International, played bridge, and relished her role as “Auntie Prime” to her sister’s kids, her avowed “two favorite people.”

Sylvia was smart, talented, funny, irreverent, empathetic, and honorable.  Her daily goal was to make people laugh and she usually succeeded.  She is survived by her sister, Heather Cook: brother-in-law, John DeTurk: and the favorite people, Evan DeTurk and Anna DeTurk.  Now she’s dancing with the angels and the kick line is fabulous.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2022

comments powered by Disqus