Cover photo for Sara Lee Cook's Obituary
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1940 Sara 2023

Sara Lee Cook

January 3, 1940 — November 27, 2023

Roseville, MN

Sara Lee (McDonald) Cook, 83, of Roseville, MN passed away peacefully with her beloved husband’s loving touch and surrounded by her family on November 27, 2023. Sara was welcomed to Heaven by her many loved ones whom had gone before her. She snubbed her nose at death for 17 years defying the Doctors’ estimates that her Neuroendocrine Cancer would win in 5 years. Her will to live life fully and her Irish stubbornness proved them otherwise. 

Sara was born on January 3, 1940 and was so proud to be the first born in Clay County that year which meant she won a prize package from local businesses. Sara was born into a large, loving and proud Irish family growing up in Hawley, MN. Her HS years were some of her favorite memories. She loved cheerleading, choir and playing the French Horn in band. Under the Direction of Miles Johnson, their small- town HS band travelled to Minneapolis, Canada, Fargo and Chicago. What a treat! Sara Lee McDonald and Glenn Cook met in elementary school and were married in 1958. Having to decide between a washing machine or Glenn going to college, they chose college and lived for several years in the married student housing units at the University of MN. They enjoyed those years because everyone was in the same situation, poor and had kids. They eventually moved to Roseville where they have resided for nearly 53 years. 

Sara Lee’s guiding light was her deep faith in God’s gift of LIFE. Sara and Glenn were blessed with 7 children. Her deeply held belief that every single life was precious was on display right in her very own children. They have 4 biological children while their 3 youngest are adopted, giving them all a chance at new opportunities in life. Sara Lee’s voice was bold and strong in her faith; she used her voice to protect those she knew had no voice. Her love of babies and children motivated her to lead the Pro-Life movement for the St. Jerome’s Parish and then continued her support at St. Odilia Catholic Church.

Sara was a life-long learner; willing to debate and be challenged. A voracious reader, lover of music (you would never enter her home without hearing classical music in the background), and firm believer in advocating her beliefs. She loved to stop and smell the roses, literally, commenting on the intricate details of small flower petals, a bird’s song or other parts of nature around her. 

Many of her most cherished memories were of visiting with her beloved siblings whether they were singing, sharing in joys or supporting one another. The countless hours spent on the phone, especially with her dear sister Barb. She wanted her family, grandchildren and great grandchildren around to enjoy birthday parties, holidays and other festivities whenever possible. 

She enjoyed being at the cabin on Cormorant Lake in Lake Park and the Desert Sun in Apache Junction, AZ. Both of these were places of family and great neighbors. 

Sara was the woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and great grandmother she was because of the large and loving family she was born in, married into and helped raise. Family gatherings were what sustained her and gave her a reason for living. Never wanting to miss a minute of the fun, she was the first to show up, helped do the work, and almost always the last one to leave. She will be remembered for her strong leadership with a voice that she was not afraid to use, but more importantly the love that she gave easily, generously and unconditionally. 

Sara is survived by her loving husband, Glenn Cook; her cherished sister, Margaret (Mel) Ristvedt; her 7 children, Timothy (Pam) Cook, Deborah (Lee) Renneke, Jennifer (Charles) Petersen, Glenn Patrick (Hoa) Cook, Michael (Jenny) Cook, Katherine (Matt) Bolterman and Rachel (Avi) Roop. There are 18 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren with 1 more on the way. 

Sara is preceded in death by her parents, John T. and Katherine (Horan) McDonald; siblings, James McDonald, Donald McDonald, John (Gretchen) McDonald, Catherine (Harold) Herbst, Mary (Wally) Kuehl, Patricia (Vincent) Fridgen, Barbara (Clark) Engler, and Charles (Betty) McDonald and Richard (Karen) McDonald.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Sara’s Honor.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL)
Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation
American Cancer Society

Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 AM Thursday, December 7 at The Church of St. Odilia, 3495 N. Victoria St., Shoreview with a luncheon to follow.  The Mass will be livestreamed at St. Odilia Livestream.

Visitation 4-7 PM Wednesday, December 6 at Mueller-Bies Funeral Home-Roseville, 2130 N. Dale St @ County Rd B and from 10-11 AM Thursday at the church.

Burial will be in the Spring at the Hawley Cemetery.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Mueller-Bies - Roseville Chapel

2130 Dale St N, Roseville, MN 55113

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Visitation

Thursday, December 7, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Mass

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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