Norma Lynn Cook Montgomery (90) beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandma, and great-great grandma passed away on March 27th at her home of lingering complications to a life saving cancer surgery.
She was born November 27, 1929, Orem, Utah, to Rulon F. Cook and Katherine Bell Cook. She married Clarence S Montgomery (Monty), November 2, 1949, in the Salt Lake Temple. She was a member of Daughters of Utah Pioneers and rode with the Temple Riders motorcycle group for 21 enjoyable years. Norma was the second of five children. She developed a spunky personality. Her summers were spent working hard on her parent's fruit farm. She loved to ride horses and belonged to a riding club. She graduated from Lincoln High School (1948) and then attended one year at BYU and served as Orem City Librarian. She was barely 5 feet tall and was affectionately known by Monty as Lynn. After marriage, she graduated from Hollywood Beauty College (Ogden, 1956) and became a licensed Cosmetologist. She has lived in Texas, Virginia, Alabama, Ogden, and Alaska, due to her husband's military service and job opportunities. Upon settling in the area known as Butlerville, which became their permanent family home (1957), she established her own beauty shop and worked at home, while raising their six children.
Many times, she championed the home front, while Monty's work took him far from home. Monty credits her with raising their children, saying she organized and provided their way to lessons. All six learned to swim, took music lessons, and their two boys received their Eagle Scout awards. Someone dubbed her with the title 'Little General.' We've all known her to be a person who reserved judgement as we've made our way through life, and she was ready to help us if and when we asked her.
Her grandchildren know her for yummy Thanksgiving spreads, homemade bread, whole wheat pancakes, and home bottled jams. She kept a garden behind her home, which included rows of raspberries. When Monty was suddenly faced with taking care of her, she also took care of him by teaching him how to prepare a pot roast with vegetables and to do the laundry, by writing down each step.
With Monty, she traveled to Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Hawaii, and Mexico. Her adventures had included a beautiful flight for 5 days in a helicopter (1967), traveling above the Alcan Highway, sitting next to Monty as he piloted it from Salt Lake to Anchorage. She loved spending time together dancing with Monty every chance they could, hiking, boating East Canyon and Lake Powell, playing dominoes, and attending BYU football games. In recent years, prior to her last surgery, they enjoyed going to lunch monthly, with her Utah Valley relatives.
She was a devout member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served 18 years as Compassionate Service leader, served as counselor to three Relief Society presidents both here and in Alaska, taught Primary, Sunday School and Relief Society classes. She enjoyed reading and loved history. She served two missions with Monty. The first was a temple mission in Toronto, Canada as an ordinance worker. Upon returning home, they continued as ordinance workers in the Jordan River Temple. Later she and Monty were called to serve in Jacksonville Florida Mission, to help organize a new Branch there, which has since become a Ward. These missions were highlights in her life and the source of many lasting friendships.
She has had a full life, filled with prayer, and she has bravely met the challenges of two open heart surgeries, surviving cancer and related surgeries. The unintentional results of her final surgery (Jan. 2018) required two years of tender attentive care from her husband. Most recently, she suffered severe back problems and shingles. She lived very compassionately, always put other's needs before her own. She believes in Jesus Christ's teachings of resurrection, reunion, and eternal life. Therefore, she remains our wonderful mother, grandmother and devout wife to our father, who has said, "she is a small woman with a big heart, a GIANT in every way."
Survived by her husband Monty, her children Debra (Kent), Karen (Michael), Larry (Linda), Lynn (Judy), Kristine (Lyle), and Kimberly (Khaled), her sisters Gayle Palmer and Shari Flygare, 21 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and to-date 10 tiny great-greats. She is preceded in death by her parents Rulon and Katherine, sister Laura Olsen, brother Robert Cook, daughter-in-law Suzanne Montgomery.
At this time of pandemic virus, a private gathering limited to her husband and six children will be held at Cannon Mortuary, Monday, April 6th. Spouses will join in for her graveside service. Interment will be at Mountain View Memorial Estates, in Cottonwood Heights. Extended family members and friends may look forward to a future, safer time to attend a Celebration of Life for Norma, upcoming date to be announced. (please check back for service time and date)
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