Staff Blogger: Martina Baca, Lakesider Co-Editor Intern
Pat Cook doesn’t remember the first time she was at Lakeside because she was barely 9 months old.
She doesn’t remember the name of the children that played with her in Central Park, or how many times a week she played shuffleboard. But, what she remembers more than anything is the feeling that Lakeside brought to her.
Her father, Dr. Lee Whiteman, was a Methodist minister who came to Lakeside every year for conferences, bringing along all his family. Pat was a waitress at the Hotel Lakeside Dining Room for three summers during her college years, which further enhanced her love for Lakeside.
Her family purchased the log cabin on Jasmine Avenue in 1967. After her father’s death just a couple of years later, her mother spent the summers in their cottage until she was in her 90s.
Pat understood over the years that Lakeside was a special place – a place where kids can play without danger, a place where people sit on their front porches, and a place for families to spend time together without worrying about their phones; and nowadays that is something hard to find.
Pat and her husband, Gary, inherited her family’s cottage and now share their love for Lakeside with their three children and five grandchildren. The log cabin on Jasmine Avenue has been their home for three generations.
Since 2000, the couple has divided their time between Summerville, S.C. and Lakeside.
Pat and Gary have started to discuss where they will place their ashes once they pass away.
For many, this can be a very hard decision, but the Cooks were fortunate enough to know about a place where they can rest forever peacefully.
The Memorial Garden at Chautauqua Park was the first place that came to their minds. Anyone who walks into the memorial garden hears the sound of water trickling, a cool breeze and birds chirping.
“I heard about the memorial garden, and I thought perfect,” said Pat. “I can’t think of a place that I would rather be than here at Lakeside. It was not even a decision, I just knew it.”
Pat and Gary’s children live in different states; one daughter and her family live in Philadelphia, Pa., and their other daughter and a son and their families live in Atlanta, Ga.
For most of the year, hundreds of miles separate the Cook family, but when summer comes along, they all come back home to Lakeside.
Home is not defined by four walls, home is where family is together. For the Cook family, Lakeside is home and what better place to rest forever than home.
The Memorial Garden at Chautauqua Park serves as both a final resting place for Lakesiders, as well as a place where the living can reflect and connect spiritually, loved ones can be remembered, special occasions can be celebrated and the beauty of nature can be embraced.