Myrtle M. Knecht Cook, age 99, Montpelier, Ohio, died March 20, 2022, at Evergreen Healthcare Center, Montpelier, Ohio. She was preceded in death by husband, Vincent, Klinksick and Knecht grandparents, parents, sister, Carol Brenner, brother, Robert Knecht, sisters-in-law, Beverly Knecht and Mary Cook, a brother-in-law, Hal Cook, daughter-in-law, Margaret Underhill, nephew, Larry Cook, and niece Lorie Cook,
Surviving are one son, Tad L. Cook of Hawthorne, NV, a sister, Esther R. (Joe) Witko of Fairfield, CT, two granddaughters, Michelle A. Cook of Woodbury, CT, and Adriane L. (Scott) Manges of Edon, OH, four great grandchildren, Christian T. Schaar of Woodbury, CT, Brianna N. Schaar of New York, NY, Andrew J. (Erika) Lautzenheiser of Edon, OH, and Keirstin A. Werling of Edon, OH, with two great, great granddaughters, Harper A. Till and Haddie J. Werling, eleven nieces, five nephews, and cousins, including Klinksick cousins, Sara (Mike) DeCapita of Archbold, OH, and Margaret (Gene) Sunderman of Upper Sandusky, OH, Houck cousins, Koni (Gene) Lautzenheiser and Scott (Lea) Lautzenheiser of Edon, OH, Susan (Pat) McCullough, Knecht cousins, Janet Black and son Jonathan of San Antonio, TX
Myrtle was the daughter of Alma O.C. (Klinksick) and William Franklin Knecht, born near Edgerton, OH on April 25, 1922. The family soon moved to the Montpelier area, and she attended a one room school, Union Corners, on what is now Williams County Rd. 6. Teachers were Ruth Brosy Fox and Mrs. Bennett. About 1931, during the depression era, the family moved to the Village of Montpelier. Myrtle graduated as salutatorian of the Montpelier High School class of 1939, and was co-captain of the girl’s basketball team with best friend, Arlene Fisher. (She has recently been an avid fan of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.) Following graduation she was hired by the National Bank of Montpelier as a bookkeeper/teller. On September 2, 1943, in Inglewood, CA, she married Vincent D. Cook of Montpelier who was serving with the U.S. Army Military Police at the L. A. Airport. Then for two years she worked for the Security First National Bank in Inglewood. Upon her return to Montpelier, she again worked for the National Bank of Montpelier, advancing from teller to executive vice president at the time of her retirement from active duty in 1990. She also served on the board of directors of that bank from 1968 to 2008, acting as secretary from 1975 to 2008. In addition, from 1988 to 2008, she was elected to the board of NBM Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for the National Bank of Montpelier, serving as secretary/treasurer for that entity. She resigned from her positions in 2008, when other board members made a decision to sell the National Bank of Montpelier to Rurban, Defiance, OH. She had then completed a total of sixty-nine years in the banking industry.
In 1969, Mrs. Cook received a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, from the Defiance College, Defiance, OH, and in 1974 a Master of Science in Education degree from Saint Francis College, Fort Wayne, IN, followed by numerous post-graduate courses. Educational emphasis was in the field of art, and she was a part-time art instructor for Painting and Arts and Crafts at the Defiance College from 1970 to 1983. Myrtle has been active in art, crafts, and restoration projects for her entire life. She received numerous art awards for entries in area shows, and was listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the Midwest, The World of Who’s Who of Women, and the American Bankers Directory of U.S. Banking Executives. In 1976, she was one of several artists leading a crew of local artists who spent the summer painting a series of eight historical murals on the sides of buildings in the first block of North Jonesville Street in Montpelier. For many years, until deterioration, these were enjoyed by the whole community. She was also one of two artists who, in 1994, did the first cleaning and restoration (water damage) of the historic Federal Works Administration mural, The Harvest - The Annal of America, by Leonard Ahneman, in the Montpelier Post Office.
During her long life Myrtle enjoyed many vacations with her own family and with various members of the families of her three siblings. There were thirteen Elderhostel trips to historic cities in the United States. She also attended graduations of nephews and a niece, as well as the wedding of a niece in Albany, NY, plus weddings of three nieces in Washington State. In 1952, she was a guest at the wedding of her brother, Robert, to Beverly Hallenbeck which took place in Hudson, NY. Most memorable travels were week-long stays with many members of the families over the years at Lake Taghkanic, NY, and to Cable Beach, Nassau, in the Bahamas, with sisters, Carol and Esther. More recent travels were to her son, Tad’s home in Hawthorne, NV, after which they went to see the Pacific Coast Redwoods, then on to visit brother, Robert, at his home on the Columbia River in Pasco, WA. At age 95, Myrtle traveled in the comfort of son Tad’s motor home to visit granddaughter, Michelle, in Woodbury, CT, sister, Esther, and brother-in-law, Joe, in Fairfield, CT, and a memorial for sister, Carol, at Lake Taghkanic, NY.
Mrs. Cook was a confirmed member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Montpelier since 1936, serving a number of years as a Sunday School teacher, several terms as church treasurer, church council member from time-to-time, vice president of the Women of the Church in 2012, and president in 2013. She also spent seven years as a member of the Montpelier Park Board, sixteen years on the board of Glenview, Inc. Apartments (thirteen years as president), and was on many other civic committees. In 1962 she was named Woman of the Year by the Montpelier Business and Professional Women’s Organization, and in 1999 was Co-Grand Marshall of the Montpelier Summerfest with friend, Norma Thomas.
Other memberships have included Ohio Designer Craftsmen, Toledo Artists’ Club, Spectrum-Friends of Fine Art, and Black Swamp Art Guild. She was also a charter member of the Twice Ten Study Club founded in 1946, president in 1947-48, and following active membership, became an honorary member in later years.
Friends may call at the Thompson Funeral Home, 204 East Main St., Montpelier, OH from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m on Friday, March 25, 2022. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., March 26, 2022, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 209 Broad St., Montpelier, OH, with Pastor Paul Gruetter officiating. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Montpelier. Memorials may be given to St. John’s Lutheran Church or to the donor’s choice.
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