Floral 03

Lou Cook

July 3, 1934 ~ March 8, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old



Marylou Bernard was born on July 3, 1934, in Spokane, Washington to Lt. Lyle Bernard and his wife Kay– 89 years later, Lou Cook passed away on March 8 in Alexandria, Virginia. 

For the first 18 years of her life Lou was an Army brat and lived in 22 places.

Lou arrived in Northern Virginia in 1953 when her father was stationed at the Pentagon.

Lou graduated with a degree in education from George Washington University where she was a proud member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority and served as President.  Lou met her future husband, George Cook at GWU, with the assistance of the “Hawkers and Stalkers,” her Pi Phi sisters who aided in their courtship.

Lou and George married in June 1957. Lou taught 2nd grade before starting a family in 1959. 

By the time they had four children they were on Crescent Drive in Alexandria. She had a weekly humor column in the Northern Virginia Journal that explored life with four kids and two St. Bernards.

Governor Linwood Holton appointed Lou to the Commonwealth’s first Status of Women Commission in 1970.  She was key to revamping the textbooks in Virginia schools to reflect the role of women more accurately and appropriately in the 20th Century.  In 1978 Lou was appointed to the Alexandria City School Board. She served on the Board for nine years – three as Chair of the Board.  Her tenure included implementing the Brown v. the Board of Education to achieve racial balance in schools.   It also included accomplishments like the creation of Family Life Curriculum and the Alexandria Boathouse for the construction of the boathouse for the TC Williams Women’s Crew team. 

In 1987, Lou and fellow School Board Member Tim Elliot, created the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria – a creative and novel way to provide “last dollar” grants to help students put together financial aid packages.  She served as the first Chairman of the Board and put the strongarm on multiple friends, organizations, and elected officials to seed the fund. Last year the SFA awarded $1.4 million dollars in scholarships.

In 1980’s Lou had another column covering current events, travel and what her grandmother name should be. She wrote for multiple trade publications and reviewed books for The Washington Post.

Lou and George were active members of Our Lady Queen of Peace, making and serving meals for the unhoused and pancake breakfasts for their fellow parishioners.

In her later years Lou started traveling around the world visiting so many countries that she needed to add pages to her passport.

Lou and George moved to Goodwin House in 2014.  Lou served on the Resident’s Council, wrote for the newsletter and was a volunteer mail lady. In addition to her family Lou is survived by her many friends in The Goodwin House community.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lou Cook, please visit our floral store.


March 18, 2024

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302

March 18, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302

Funeral Mass
March 19, 2024

11:00 AM
Our Lady Queen of Peace
2700 S. 19th St.
Arlington, VA 22204


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