Blessings from Service
Connie Blakemore Cook ('67) feels very blessed looking back on her life experiences and travels. Connie taught at BYU from 1985 until 2002. She was hired from the public schools in California, where she was a high school department chair for 12 years. Along with teaching, she had coached tennis, girls’ basketball, and girls’ flag football.
Connie grew up in Salt Lake City and received a BA from the University of Utah. She gravitated toward education because she wanted to help people stay healthy and be active. She earned a master’s degree in biology and secondary education at BYU, followed by a PhD in mastery learning in curriculum and instruction from Temple University.
At BYU Connie taught methods and activity classes and headed administrative, master’s, research, and doctoral programs. She and a colleague developed the idea of forming student cohorts to enrich the student teaching experience. Her love of teaching led her to teach classes in Book of Mormon and Doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When Connie retired, she married Paul F. Cook and immediately became the grandmother of 17. She has retained her love of outdoor activity, especially golf, but has also accepted Church assignments and callings that have taken her and Paul all over the world, including all seven continents. They led a stu- dent group to China to teach English and have served humanitarian missions in Zimbabwe and Kenya, where they worked on an immunization campaign for the measles vaccine. In Israel Connie’s husband served as the branch president in Galilee, and both of them worked on an outreach initiative. They alsoguided tours in Jerusalem and hosted groups and study abroad students.
At home in Orem, the Cooks serve as temple workers and continue to travel.
“The service I have rendered has blessed me more than the people I’ve served,” said Connie.
She encourages students to keep the standards of BYU, to have integrity, be healthy, gain skills, and serve.
She advises, “Follow your dreams; Heavenly Father is the only person you have to please.”