On September 29, 2021 at the age of 61, Susan Marie Cook (Arnold), strengthened by the Holy Sacraments and surrounded by her loved ones, commended herself to God and passed peacefully into eternity a year after her diagnosis of malignant melanoma.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 9:30 AM on October 7th at St. Mary Catholic Church, Richardton with Father Thomas Wordekemper, OSB as celebrant. Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery. Visitation will be held Wednesday October 6th from 2-6 pm at Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson, with a rosary and vigil service beginning at 6 pm.
Susan was born on July 27, 1960 to John and Dorothy Arnold (Kilzer). She grew up on the Peter Kilzer farm south of Richardton, ND until the age of 6, when the family moved to a farm northwest of Richardton. She was known lovingly to her siblings as “Susie”, and was a sweet child who dreamed of becoming a teacher. She graduated from Richardton High School in 1978.
Susan attended Dickinson State College to pursue her dream of becoming an educator. While in college she met Tim Cook, whom she married on August 22, 1980 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richardton. Their first son, John, was born in 1981 in Dickinson. In 1982, Susan began teaching 1st grade in Richey, MT, and their second son, Michael, was born in Dickinson later that year. After Richey, Susan taught 1st and 6th grade in Taylor, ND. In 1986, opportunity called and the family moved south to El Paso, TX, where their daughter, Alisa, was born in 1990. Along the southern border, Susan found success as an educator at several elementary schools, including Horizon Heights and Elfida P. Chavez. She was awarded Teacher of the Year during her time at both schools. In 1997, she earned a Master of Education degree, concentrating in education administration, from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX. After receiving her M.Ed, she was selected to serve as an assistant principal at Myrtle Cooper and Loma Verde elementary schools. In 2005, as principal, Susan opened John Drugan school in El Paso, Texas. In 2013, Tim and Susan moved back to North Dakota, settling near Gladstone, to be closer to family. Susan was the principal of Heart River elementary until she retired from education in 2020. Susan worked alongside many talented individuals over her years in education, many of whom became lifelong friends and chosen family.
Susan enjoyed adventure, including traveling, scuba diving, hiking, gardening and long walks. You might also find her on any given morning, soaking up the sunshine, reading the bible and baking something delicious for her family. She was a devoted wife, mother, friend, teacher and administrator. She was quick to offer her time and talent and to see the best in people. Her Catholic faith was important to her, and the teachings of Jesus were the basis for which she lived her life. Susan was especially comforted by the promises of Christ as she courageously faced the diagnosis of cancer. There is no replacement for her strong, kind and beautiful spirit. We are comforted that she has found eternal peace with God and look forward to our reunion with her, and all those who have died before her.
Susan is survived by her husband of 41 years, Tim; her children John Cook of Conifer, CO; Michael (Bobbi) Cook of Oklahoma City, OK; Alisa (Andy) Dinges of Mandan, ND; her grandchildren Judy, Colin, Jensen, Avery, Jackson, Anna, William and Grace; her siblings, Gary Arnold of Sidney, MT; Tom (Marie) Arnold of Dickinson, ND; Deb Milne of Douglas, WY; Carol (Judd) Winter of Gladstone, ND, Laura (Joe) Arnold-Schumacher of Bismarck, ND and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Susan is preceded in death by her parents, John and Dorothy Arnold, her infant brother, Paul and infant sister, Joyce, sister-in-law Sherry Arnold, brother-in-law Delford Milne and many aunts and uncles.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Mary’s parish in Richardton, ND.