Georgiann Sue “Cookie” (Schaaf) Clark, age 80, passed away at the Assured Assisted Living Memory Care Home in Centennial, CO on July 25, 2022 from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Cookie was born March 15, 1942 in Eau Claire, WI. Her parents were Gerald Schaaf and Juanita (Budrow) Schaaf. She has one brother, John Schaaf, of Eau Claire. She was married to Kirk B. Clark, also originally of Eau Claire. Kirk passed away on July 31, 2022. They have two sons: Kevin Clark of Centennial, CO, and Scott Clark, of Santa Fe, TX.
Cookie Clark lived a wonderful life as a daughter, a sister, an Air Force fighter pilot’s wife, a mother, a teacher, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a cousin, an aunt, and a friend. Her life has been filled with love and laughter, education, adventure, and fun.
Cookie was born and raised in Eau Claire, WI, and she was always an Eau Claire girl. She lived in a house on Half Moon Lake near Carson Park where she was able to watch the great baseball player Hank Aaron play for the minor league Eau Claire Bears, a farm club for the Boston Braves, in 1952. Cookie’s brother John is a huge sports fan, and she shares her love of sports with him and her whole family.
From an early age, Cookie always knew she wanted to be a teacher. As a child, she would line up her dolls in rows, give each one a book and proceed to teach class every day. After raising her family, Cookie fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher. She taught Kindergarten and Second Grade at Jewell Elementary School in Aurora, CO for 20 years before retiring in 2000.
Cookie loved growing up in Eau Claire. She enjoyed figure skating on Half Moon Lake during the winters. She learned to swim at the Eau Claire YMCA, and she attended the YMCA’s Camp Manitou in the summers.
Cookie has a strong Christian faith that was nurtured at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. She was baptized, confirmed, and married at Grace Lutheran. She enjoyed attending church and singing in the choir wherever she happened to live at the time. While living in Aurora, CO, she was active at Faith Presbyterian Church. She sang in the choir for many years and served as a Deacon.
Cookie attended Eau Claire Memorial High School (Class of 1960). She enjoyed high school and was a cheerleader during her senior year.
In high school, Cookie met the man she would eventually marry, Kirk B. Clark. Kirk played football and baseball in high school.
After high school, Kirk went off to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. After Kirk graduated from the Academy, these two high school sweethearts would marry on June 30, 1962, at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. This was the start of Cookie’s next big adventure as the wife of a fighter pilot and the mother of two boys.
Cookie and Kirk have two sons, Kevin, and Scott. Kevin and his wife Cheryl (Lesh) live in Centennial, CO. Scott and his wife Laura (Cullen) live in Sante Fe, TX. Cookie has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Kevin and Cheryl have three sons: Andrew Clark, Matthew Clark, and Aaron Clark. They live in the Denver, CO, metro area. Scott and Laura have two daughters: Jordan Rusk (Brad) and Connor Jennings (Mitchell). Jordan and Brad have three children: two boys, Lincoln Rusk, and Jackson Rusk, and one girl, Madison Rusk. All of Scott and Laura’s children and grandchildren live in the Houston, TX metro area.
Mom always put family first. To Kevin and Scott, she was absolutely the best Mom ever! She was a source of unconditional love. She always made life a fun adventure. She was our first and best teacher. She was the strength and the glue that held our family together as we moved all over the country and around the world since my Dad was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and then a pilot with Western and Delta Airlines.
Since Dad was gone about half the time flying for the Air Force and for the airlines, Mom was a single Mom for much of the time, holding down the fort and raising us kids. She could do it all, and she did it with style and grace.
While Kirk was in the Air Force, and flying as an airline pilot, Cookie and the family were stationed in Phoenix, AZ; Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, England; Seattle, WA; Anchorage, AK; Tucson, AZ; Minneapolis, MN and Denver, CO. Mom was always able to make a wonderful, loving home for us wherever we were living.
Mom earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Colorado Women’s College in 1981 and then began a twenty year teaching career. She taught Kindergarten and Second Grade at Jewell Elementary School in Aurora, CO and retired in 2000. Along the way she earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley College, MA.
Kevin and Scott agree that Cookie was a great Mom. She made everything fun. She took us on many adventures including the zoo, museums, amusement parks, movies, putt-putt golfing, swimming, and always took us to the library.
Cookie may have started her career as a cheerleader in high school, but she was a cheerleader by nature and a cheerleader in life. To Scott and Kevin, she was our greatest cheerleader, attending our sporting events in little league, youth soccer, youth basketball, and high school soccer and basketball. She supported her children and grandchildren in all their activities including sports (soccer, basketball, lacrosse) and the arts (piano, theatre, dance). She cheered us all on in every endeavor including life. For example, she loved Harry Potter books and always took her grandson Andrew to The Tattered Cover bookstore for the release parties when a new Harry Potter book would come out. She attended hundreds of soccer games to watch Kevin, Scott, Aaron, and Andrew compete. She attended horse riding events and Special Olympics for Matthew. She supported Jordan in her dance activities and competitions including dancing in Texas, a two-week dance workshop in Boulder, CO, and dance performances in New York and Boston. Cookie also attended Connor’s dance performances in Texas and supported Connor in her Future Farmers of America activities and competitions. Cookie supported both Jordan and Connor in their many educational and academic efforts and achievements.
In addition to cheering for her family in all their activities, she loved cheering for her home state teams of the Green Bay Packers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers. She cheered for all the Air Force Academy teams and would often attend Air Force football games with Kirk. She also enjoyed rooting for all the Colorado professional sports teams including the Broncos, the Avalanche, the Nuggets and the Rockies.
Mom was very competitive, and she enjoyed playing games of all kinds: tennis, racquetball, croquet, ping-pong, card games, and board games. She definitely knew how to have fun!
The last few years of Cookie’s life have been difficult because she had Alzheimer’s Disease. Thankfully, she knew her family right to the end and Kevin was able to be with her when she died peacefully in her bed on July 25, 2022.
Cookie’s most lasting legacy is the gift of love. She was a source of unconditional love to her family and especially to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Everyone that got to know her loved her because she loved them. She offered that profound gift of love to everyone including all the students she taught over those twenty years.
Cookie was a happy, loving person who loved helping others, teaching children, and cheering them on so that they can be the best person they can be and achieve their goals in life.
Much like her name, Cookie, she was just plain sweet and wonderful. Not to mention that she made some of the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet!
We love you Mom! You will be missed. We look forward to eating some of your chocolate chip cookies again when we see you in heaven.
True to their deep connection throughout life, Kirk joined his beloved Cookie in heaven on July 31, 2022, less then one week after Cookie's passing.
Cookie is survived by her sons Kevin Clark (Cheryl) of Centennial, CO and Scott Clark (Laura) of Santa Fe, TX; her grandsons Andrew Clark, Matthew Clark, and Aaron Clark of Denver, CO; her granddaughters Jordan Rusk (Brad) and Connor Jennings (Mitchell) of Houston, TX; her great-grandchildren Lincoln Rusk, Jackson Rusk, and Madison Rusk of Houston, TX; her brother John Schaaf (Nancy) of Eau Claire, WI; her niece Sara (Schaaf) Jappinen (husband Mark) of Oconomowoc, WI, and additional extended family members.
Cookie was preceded in death by her parents Gerald Schaaf and Juanita (Budrow) Schaaf; and her nephew Mark Schaaf.
A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, August 9th at 1pm at the Horan & McConaty chapel located at 11150 E. Dartmouth Avenue, Aurora, CO 80014. Please join the family for a reception at the HeartLight Center immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to the Eau Claire YMCA or Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. To make a gift to the YMCA, please call Suzie Slota, Director of Mission Advancement, at 715-839-4631 or email her at email@example.com. To find out more about the great work of the Eau Claire YMCA in the community, please view their website at YMCA of the Chippewa Valley at www.ymca-cv.org. To make a gift to Grace Lutheran Church, call 715-832-9713 or go online at www.grace-church.org.
To visit Kirk's online obituary page click here https://www.horancares.com/obituary/Kirk-Clark.