Life Sketch


Cookie Wiebe, 57, life partner of husband, David Wiebe, died Monday morning, October 31, 2011.  She was born in Newton on February 1, 1954 the youngest child of Alfred G. and Clara Voth.  She graduated from Newton High School in 1972 and Bethel College in 1976.  After marrying David in 1978 and starting a family, Cookie chose to be a stay-at-home mom rather than starting on a career path.  During this time Cookie did some part-time and lots of volunteer work.  From 1989 – 1992, Cookie and her family served with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) doing community development in Chad, Africa.  Returning to Newton, Cookie continued to work with MCC as workroom supervisor which inspired her later interest in human resource development (HRD).  From 1995-1999, Cookie and David, worked at Woodstock School in India.  One of Cookie’s roles was new staff coordinator which furthered her interest in HRD.  Upon returning from India, Cookie attended Friends University earning a Masters Degree in HRD.  Cookie used her skills and knowledge in several jobs including another MCC term in N. Newton as HR director, wellness coordinator for Harvey county, and most recently interim HR manager at Woodstock School. It was there a bit more than one year ago, that Cookie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which would ultimately be terminal.

Married 33 1/3 years, Cookie and Dave demonstrated their strong faith and firm commitment to whole life stewardship.  For their 25th anniversary, Cookie and Dave purchased a tandem bike. They participated in several BAK rides and two longer fund-raising trips to Mennonite Conventions in N. Carolina and California.  Given Cookie’s propensity to document everything, either photographically or journalistically, this past year she has inspired many with her blogs ( about her disease and life convictions and by sharing her fabulous photos taken on daily walks along Sand Creek bike path.  In her bucket list of things to do before she died, Cookie included two things, an art gallery photography showing of her portraits taken of regular people in India with whom she and Dave came into contact and to see the birth of their first  grandson.   Both of these wishes were graciously granted.  In life, Cookie was an excellent teacher and public speaker, passionate about many things such as helping people overcome poverty and injustice, and interested in great ideas and meaningful discussions. She loved movies especially foreign films with subtitles.  She sought to live life intentionally, with no regrets.

She will be especially missed in this life by husband, David of Newton, daughter Abra (husband Phil Staffin) and new grandson Cassius Staffin-Wiebe of Minnesota, brother John (wife Colleen) of Derby, sister Birdie (husband Tim Vander Molen) of Illinois, nieces Amy Voth, Jane Vander Molen and nephews David Voth and Tim Vander Molen Jr.   Cookie was preceded in death by daughter, Bethany Ann Wiebe, and her parents. Cookie and Dave also belonged to an extraordinary Sunday School Class at First Mennonite in Newton, where they journeyed together with others in their faith.   Cookie will be sorely missed by this group of wonderful friends and sojourners in life.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 David Wiebe
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7 Responses to Life Sketch

  1. Thsespal Kundan says:

    and the other family members and close friends:

    I grieve with you on the passing away of Cookie from our immediate presence. I knew her as a dedicated, cheerful and energetic head of the Woodstock School HR department during my time as chairman of the Board’s HR sub-committee. I wish I had got to know her (and Dave) even better personally. But I thank God for Cookie – how she has enriched my life, and apparently many others, with her strong Christian faith. I look forward to, one day, meeting her in Heaven – in the nearer presence of our Saviour and Lord. May He give you His peace in the coming days and years.

    Rev Thsespal Kundan, Moravian Institute, Rajpur, Dehra Dun

  2. Jerry Jost says:

    Thanks, Dave, for this thoughtful summary of Cookie’s life. I was deeply touched by your Monday morning post. Cookie’s love of life and her courage and peace approaching death are a wonderful testimony to living life well and within the grace of God. My best wishes with you as you continue your journey.

  3. Steve Luukkonen says:

    Beautiful indeed!!:) Well put Dave!!:)

  4. Linda Shelly says:

    Thank you for the beautiful life sketch! I am in Colombia and am sorry to miss this very special time of being together to celebrate Cookie’s life and grieve our loss of her presence with us here on earth. Thank you for including the last line regarding our Sunday school class, “Cookie will be sorely missed by this group of wonderful friends and sojourners in life.” Even in death she will continue to be an inspiration. –Linda

  5. Caprice Becker says:

    Dave, Thanks for sharing. We will all miss Cookie, but obviously, none of us will miss her as much as you do. Hope to see you Thursday.


  6. What a beautiful tribute to Cookie and her VERY INTENTIONAL life. She has inspired and taught so many, and you’re right to say she will be sorely missed. Praying for peace in this time, and miss you Cooks!

  7. Carola Ratzlaff says:

    Cookie will be missed by so many, but nobody more than you. And, although you have been grieving for a long time already, the void will still be tremendous. I hope and pray that the memories of her and your faith in God will support you. -Carola

Comments are closed.