Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Katherine Perry Cook


Katherine Perry Cook, 87, passed away Friday, June 6, 2019, at Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital in Thermopolis, Wyo., following a short illness.

Born February 26, 1932, in Denver, Colo.,, she was the daughter of Walter Earnest and Katherine (Geisick) Perry. She attended Colorado Women’s College, Denver University, University of Colorado, and Colorado State University obtaining a Master’s degree in journalism. After working for several newspapers, for a time she taught journalism and English in the Denver Public School system.

Following the death of her first husband in 1961, she married Joseph J. Cook in Ft. Collins, Colo. While living in Texas, Katherine was president of the Upper Valley Art League and was listed in “Notable Women of Texas”. She also was active in the Motor Maids and 40 Plus Motorcycle Clubs. A multi-faceted personality, she enjoyed motorcycles, reading, exotic food, and religiously followed the Atlanta Braves. As factory reps for the Carefree Awning Company, she lived peripatetically, traveling with her husband in all 50 states. She also spent time in Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean.  

Aristotle was correct when he observed that the measure of a life can’t be made until a person has experienced life in its totality. By his criterion, Katherine’s life was a success. The woman lived large, full, and free. She captured dreams, which is the most audacious and difficult of pursuits. Among the passions she mastered were art, literature, travel, food, adventure, self-reliance, and baseball. Katherine logged 150,000 miles riding through thirty-some states on her motorcycles, sold over 2,000 paintings as a professional artist, lived for ten years on the road, and bottle-fed orphaned bison calves. She endured remarkable tragedy along the way, but never became tragic. For such a life, we do not grieve, but raise our glasses and cry, “Well met!”


Katherine and Joe moved to Hot Springs County in the early 2000s. Following Joe’s death in 2003, Katherine later moved to Thermopolis.

She is survived by W. Michael Gear (Kathleen O’Neal Gear) of Thermopolis.  

Mortimore Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Messages may be offered at




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