Adella E. Cook born at home on July 14, 1920 in Derby, NY to Silveria (Silvia) and Mathias (Matthew) Lanser passed away Wednesday January 1, 2020 in Vero Beach, Florida. A wonderful caring mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she is survived by her son Terry (Michelle) Cook of Vero Beach, FL, daughters Wendy (Dr. Marc) Savett of Lakewood, NY, Kathryn (Michael) Lotz of Forestville, NY, Cindy ( the late Clifford P.) Schmitz of Derby, NY, and Susan (David) Hall of Albion, PA. She is also survived by 12 devoted and cherished grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, 3 step grandchildren, 8 step great grandchildren, and 2 step great great grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her beloved and cherished husband Richard Cook Jr., sons Thomas D. Cook and Richard T. Cook, and sister, Jeannette Catalano.
Following graduation in 1936, she attended a local business college. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Empire State College in 1969 and a Masters Degree in Economics from the University at Buffalo in 1972.
Adella was a pioneer for women of her time. In the 1940’s she worked for the Buffalo Evening News delivering the paper. She was an entrepreneur owning and operating Bennett Shore Refreshment Stand and Cabins for many years with her husband. She loved the sky and was a solo licensed aviator as well as a historical political force. For eight years, she served as the Town of Evans Assessor and on January 1, 1980 was sworn in as the first woman ever to hold the position of Town Supervisor for Evans, serving two terms. During her terms, she established among others, the Evans National Business and Professional Women’s week, endorsed the expansion of Erie Savings Branch into the southern tier, and established the Angola-Lakeshore Alumni weekend. While in office, she worked hard to make sure the Sturgeon Point Marina was a project the town could be proud of and benefit from far into the future. To this day a flagstaff and plaque remain in honor of her late husband and sons. She was also successful in bringing cable to the Town of Evans, and establishing a town wide garbage pick-up, and was instrumental in the purchase of a Senior Citizen’s Center.
Adella was a tireless volunteer, serving on or holding office on various committees or boards, such as the Lake Shore Hospital Auxiliary, Steepleview Housing, Friendship House of Lackawanna, Community Concern of Western New York, Troop Leader for the Girl Scouts of America, Captain and Chairperson of the Local United Way, American Cancer Society, and Red Cross. She was a member of the Evans Democratic Club, North Evans Fireman’s Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, She was President of the Board of Directors of Community Concern for seven years, and was influential in starting the successful Senior Services Program which served over 600 elderly in the Towns of Evans, Brant, Collins, North Collins and Eden. Her leadership was significant during a time of change from a small volunteer agency to the not-for-profit corporation they are today.
In 1983, she was named “Woman of the Year” as well as “Public Servant of the Year” from the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen. In 2009, she was inducted into the Lakeshore Wall of Fame.
An incredibly independent and resilient woman, she decided that obtaining her college degree at age 56 was not enough, so in 1992 at the age of 72, she joined the Peace Corp. Her journey took her to Sri Lanka. She was certified and had worked as a volunteer as a Master Gardner for over seven years. She became quite an accomplished artistic painter. Shortly after the Peace Corp., she moved to Florida but would still spend her summers here in WNY and PA with family.
She had such a quiet yet demanding presence and was always available for a piece of advice, honesty, or a good story. Adella will be dearly missed.
Condolences may be shared online at www.millenniumcremationservice.com.
Our caring professionals are here to assist you and your family during this difficult time. We are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to assist in immediate arrangements or pre-arrangements.
The service from Millennium was outstanding. Rachel was sweet, personable and very comforting. It was important to me that my dad was kept locally where I knew where he would be. Very nice facility, state of the art and quality of my fathers remains were so refined compared to my mothers years ago. I highly recommend this place for an affordable choice for your loved one. Thank you for making an already stressful event easy. With high regards, the Esposito and Keith Family.
Millennium Cremation provided a fantastic service to our family at a difficult time. Our beloved mother passed away in Vero Beach and the rest of the family was in other parts of the country. Due to the Covid health crisis, none of us could get to Vero Beach in person. That's where Millennium took over. They helped us manage everything, coordinated with a cemetery in Maine, managed the obituaries, expedited all the paperwork, and even delivered an important document locally that saved us days. Funeral director Rachel was a godsend, and she made it clear what she was going to do, and what we needed to do. If you know what you want, Millennium is highly recommended, and the savings versus the full service mortuaries is significant.