By Desiree Williams
Jerry and Earlene Cook celebrate everything. Graduations. Weddings. Babies. All successes within their family are followed by celebration, which includes their 60th wedding anniversary.
“Sixty is a long time, but when you’re with your best friend, it doesn’t make any difference,” Earlene said. “Seems like not that long ago.”
Jerry and Earlene met in their hometown of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Earlene lived on a farm while Jerry worked on another farm during the summers. They met in 1952 at the weekly Sock Hop dances on Friday nights.
Earlene left for college before Jerry, and she attended thIowa State Teachers College, which is now the University of Northern Iowa. One year later, Jerry began at the University of Iowa. They tried to date others while in college, but Earlene said no one appealed to them and that’s when they knew they were right for each other.
“It took her longer,” Jerry said. “I knew when I first saw her.”
They were married in Iowa on June 29, 1957. Jerry joined the military and they were transferred to Baltimore, Maryland for two years. After he got out in November of 1962, he was transferred to work in Indianapolis and they began having children. When asked to transfer again, Jerry declined and they settled their family in Carmel.
The Cooks have five children (Kim, Kevin, Karee, Keely and Kristin), 17 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. They said the keys to a successful relationship are faith, respect, communication and love, which is a lesson they wanted to pass down.
“You bring your children up to try to do the same thing, which is what we are so happy about because they all are,” Earlene said. “They are so good to Jerry and I.”
After such an immense milestone in their relationship, the Cooks are just looking forward to spending more time with family and being a part of their accomplishments.
“That’s what we look forward to,” she said. “That’s what keeps us going and keeps us young.”