Debbie (Williamson) Cook

First, I guess I have to say how great it was growing up in Bedford and Englewood.  It seems our lives were just one big “play time”, and of course, Anderson’s Roller Rink was very important.  The good part, is that most of us continued on to Shawswick for high school and met up with all these other great classmates. 

 After graduation I went to work at Indiana University, and married Gary Conley in the summer of 1966.  As Gary was serving in the Army, we ended up at Fort Irwin, CA.  Gary eventually served in Vietnam and I returned to Bedford.  After his return we had two children, Gary Michael in 1970 and Melissa Gayle in 1972.  Sadly, we were divorced shortly after Missy was born.  Two years later I met Mike Morrissey.  We married and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.  We bought a house, raised the kids and really had a great life.  I have always worked doing something clerical (thank you Mrs. Wagoner).  My husband and son owned a taxi company and repair service called M & M Transportation and I eventually worked with them.  Our son Michael is still living in Minnesota and owns his own business, Living Woodworks, doing custom wood working and building custom furniture.  He is a single dad with one son, Preston, who is 10 years old.  Our daughter Melissa is a paralegal in Phoenix, AZ.  She and her husband Jason live in Paradise Valley and have three girls, Tabatha - 12 years, Arabella - 2 years, and Sophia - a newborn. Missy’s husband is an architect with his own firm, so I am happy that she will now be a stay at home mom.

 About the time my daughter was in college and the guys were starting their business, I discovered boats and fell in love.  I talked my husband into moving from our 2 ˝ story Victorian house onto our houseboat.  We left our adult kids in the house - I used to joke that I ran away from home.  I loved living on the Mississippi River.  Coming home from work everyday was like coming home to a vacation.  I would sit on the deck in the evening, watch the eagles, maybe fish and just relax.  On occasion, we would travel up or down river, beach the boat on an island, stay overnight and return to the dock in the early morning in time to go to work.  That was great!  In winter it got a little tricky.  In 1997, my husband passed away shortly after being diagnosed with lung and brain cancer.  This was a very difficult period for all of us.  I continued to stay on the river alone for two more years, where I met my current hubby Dan Cook.  When I met Dan, he was experimenting with living on the river, lots of people have this dream, but not everyone succeeds.  I called the river home for over 13 years and survived 3 major floods.  In the summer of 2000 we sold our respective boats, and bought a “new” old boat and got married on the river.  The name of our boat was “Dances with Carp”.  After one winter, Dan decided it was much to cold for him, so in the fall of 2001, we sold our boat and moved to Tucson, AZ to start an all new adventure.  The Sonoran desert is beautiful and so are the mountains surrounding us.  We occasionally get the chance to fish at some of the small mountain lakes and enjoy exploring the desert.  I also love classical, country, good “old” rock-n-roll, and gospel music.

 In 2006 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had surgery, went through chemotherapy, followed by radiation.  I am doing great now and I even have hair again.  I feel very optimistic about my future.  I am still working and plan to do so as long as I can.  I would love to be back in Bedford in the fall of the year.  I do miss seeing the leaves change and the rolling hills of southern Indiana.  Most of my family are still there and I miss them very much.  I am looking forward to our reunion, but why are we waiting for the 45th??? 

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