Nancy Ann (Cooke) Kolb, age 81, died peacefully in her Shelby home February 12, 2021, after a 20 plus year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Since the death of her husband Jim in November 2018, she has lived with daughter and son-in-law Julie and Brian Frankl.
Born January 7, 1940 to Marjorie (Urich) and Reginald ‘Rex’ G. Cooke of Shelby, Nancy was baptized April 9, 1950 in the First Christian Church of Shelby, where she also married her high school sweetheart (James Herman Kolb) on September 4, 1960.
She graduated from Shelby Senior High in 1958, and earned her RN certification from Mansfield General Hospital’s School of Nursing in 1961. Nancy spent her entire nursing career at Shelby Hospital - starting in 1961 as a night shift staff nurse in Obstetrics and ending with retirement in 1989 as Vice President of Patient Care Service. She then served on the Board of Directors and assisted with the 1996 merger of Shelby and Mansfield hospitals into what was then MedCentral Health Systems.
Nancy was one of 25 women honored at Mansfield YMCA’s first annual TWIN (Tribute to Women and Industry) ceremony in 1985, and was selected to participate in the Leadership Unlimited Program in 1987. She joined the First United Church of Christ in 1962, and for many years helped refurbish and package baby and Barbie dolls for the annual Christmas program. She received the Jess Rath Award for Christian volunteer service in 2002. When handiwork became too difficult, she helped package soap and washcloths for Socks for Soldiers.
Before her Parkinson’s diagnosis, Nancy created and gifted many treasured items. Many of her nieces still have baby blankets and Barbie clothes crocheted and knitted by her hand. Her family will be eternally grateful for her scrapbooking and genealogy work. Her first scrapbook was for her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary in June, 1988 and her later work included twenty-six scrapbooks chronicling the lives of her grandchildren. Her quest to document family history took her to Pett Level, England. That trip sparked new relationships and many shared trips with the Cooke family “across the pond.”
A civic-minded lover of her community, Nancy served as past-president of the local American Cancer Society, past board member for the Shelby Y, and many other committees over the years. Her contributions included co-chairing the capital campaign for the “new” Y building on East Smiley and her work to better the community through strengthening Shelby Hospital.
She and Jim loved to entertain, hosting many family gatherings, reunions, and club meetings at their homes in Shelby and their cabin in Butler. Most visitors left with a gift of homemade salsa, relish, ketchup, jam, or syrup with the “Kolb Kabin” label. The Kolb family also appreciates the “many hands that made light work” over the years and feels the love that was reciprocated in those loving acts of service.
Nancy is survived by daughters Julie (Brian) Frankl and Jennifer (Brian) Brown; grandchildren James “Nick” and (Nancy) Frankl, Marissa Frankl and Chloe Lattimer; step-grandchildren Kayli Lattimer, Alex Brown and Leslie (Nick) Miller; great-grandchildren Sophia and Charles Frankl; siblings Larry Cooke, Jane (John) Jones, and Kathy (John) LaBarge; in-laws Frank Elias, Karen Cooke and Brenda Kolb; and beloved nieces and nephews too numerous to name.
In addition to her husband and parents, Nancy was preceded in death by siblings Janice Elias and Rick Cooke; nephew Michael Eshelman; in-laws John E. and Lucille Kolb, John (Jack) Kolb, and Sherry Cooke.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 AM February 16, 2021 at the Barkdull Funeral Home and Crematory in Shelby. Pastor James Robinson will officiate, with internment in Oakland Cemetery at a later date. Friends may call at the funeral home Monday, February 15, 2021 from 4:00-6:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Church of Christ, Shelby or the charity of one’s choosing.
A livestream of the service will stream on the Barkdull Funeral Home Facebook Page at 10:30 AM Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
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