By Lucie Willsie
November 10, 2013
Mary Ann and Gary Cook celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Oct. 31 of this year.
They celebrated the occasion with a dinner with family and friends at Cross Creek Country Club.
Mary Ann Patton, originally of Pilot Mountain, and Gary Eugene Cook of Mount Airy, now both residing in Mount Airy, were married on Saturday, Oct. 31, 1953, in the lobby of what was then the student nurse quarters of North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
The marital ceremony was officiated by the hospital chaplain.
The best man 60 years ago was the bride’s father, Sid Patton, chief of police of Pilot Mountain.
Her parents are Sidney Carl Patton and Cornelia Whitt Patton, both of Pilot Mountain.
At that time, Mary Ann Patton was a student nurse at Baptist Hospital and Gary Cook was a private in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C. She became a registered nurse after three years of study at North Carolina Baptist Hospital, with no summers off. She then earned a bachelor’s and a master’s equivalency. She worked in many areas of medicine, from in-service education to medical and surgical floor recovery, to name just a few, in addition to doing volunteer work in Germany. She also taught in the Palm Beach County School system and retired after 24 years. She also was a housewife and the mother of two children, Gary Michael Cook and Allison Julia Cook. The couple also now has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He is the son of Eugene Franklin Cook and Virginia Gardner Cook, both natives of Mount Airy.
During 60 years of marriage and extensive travels to the Middle East, Far East, and living in Europe, due to his military service, the couple has seen it all.
Gary Cook had a career in business, but mainly a career with the military, rising through the ranks from a private to a major. He now is retiring after 24 years of military service. He held many assignments over the years, from working with heavy artillery and the infantry to being in the security agency, the Green Berets, and in the Airborne unit. Once retired from the military, he became an executive in the insurance industry.