BIO Index

Elizabeth "Dean" Cook


The summer of 1961 I enrolled at Manatee Junior College and for the fall also. At a campus meeting for all students we were told that we could receive all our tuition back if we withdrew by a certain date. I decided to do this because I had lived with my sister and brother-in-law for the last two years and already owed them lots of money. I felt as if I would never get out of debt and decided to get a job to take care of my bills. Well my sister upon learning this decided that Atlanta was a better job opportunity than Sarasota. She brought me to Atlanta and dropped me off with my other sister. I really felt like an orphan and really missed Sarasota. I found a job within a few days working in the J.C. Penney Credit Office on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta. After getting on my feet my sister here introduced me to a divorced girlfriend of hers. When she and her roommate's lease were up we rented a large duplex and added a couple more girls. We had a lot of different roommates but one turned out to be my lifelong friend June. She was the roommate of my sister's friend. They all taught me how to navigate in a big city. It was quite an adventure. I hated Atlanta and wanted to be back in Sarasota. After being away for over a year I realized that it had grown on me and I loved living here.

When I started out on my own my goal was to pay off my debt, be happy, and to find my knight and shining armor. I found that happiest came with me making my own decisions and using the talents I was given. I found my knight after much searching. I had been putting him together since about nine years old. All the experiences in your life help you to know the kind of person your looking to find. Well my family was not happy about him because of religion but I knew with God's help I would do the right thing for me. Phil and I met January 26,1963 at a dance on Fort McPherson NCO Club. It was his first weekend in Georgia and after a stormy courtship we were married May 30,1964. We have three wonderful daughters June, Jennifer, and Jessica. They have given us four granddaughters and two grandsons. All of us live in the four corners of metro Atlanta.

I worked for J.C.Penney's about three years. I worked for about nine months after our first child was born and then quit to be the mother and wife that my husband and I decided we wanted. I was involved with my children the way I had wished my parents had done for me. I was really a very blessed person in life for I got to stay at home and do all the little things that make life rewarding. When our youngest graduated from high school, I went to work full time at Snapper Manufacturing Company (now Briggs& Stratton) for eighteen years-three months. I retired from there March 19, 2010. After working, I knew that being a mom also would have been very difficult for me to handle.

All during my life I have enjoyed sewing and it enabled me to have the things I wanted in life. I could not afford the wedding dress in Bride's magazine or the bridesmaid dresses so I made them. Phil and I paid for all those expenses, our parents were poor. Then when our daughters got married they wanted me to make their dresses because it would mean more to them. They also got a more expensive looking dress for the money. Our first daughter June's wedding I made her dress, slip, veil, bridesmaid's dresses slips, hats, and my dress. Our second daughter Jennifer's wedding I made her dress with detachable train, slip, veil, decorated shoes, bride's card purse, ring bearer's pillow, did alterations on bridesmaids dresses, and made my dresses. Our third daughter Jessica's wedding I made her dress with detachable train, slip, put new tulle on my wedding veil and ribbon edging, decorated shoes, bride's card purse, junior bridesmaid dress, and ring bearer's pillow. Plus I made all the venues arrangements and got the best deals.

Phil and I love to travel and do things we never got to do in life. We love the outdoors but not camping. We've been out west, Ireland, Hawaii, Caribbean, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Mt. Rainier, Alaska twice and many other places.

Elizabeth Cook Murphy

Attached are the following pictures: Elizabeth & Phil's wedding day, Phil & Elizabeth, Daughter June's wedding, Daughter Jennifer's wedding, Daughter Jessica's wedding, and all our grandchildren...Payton, Paisley, Sydney, Brittni, Charles and Colin.