Nelle (Alberda) Cok, 95, entered into glory with her Lord and Savior on Friday afternoon, October 23, 2020.
Nelle was born June 3, 1925, in Manhattan, MT, to William Menze and Clara (Braaksma) Alberda, the youngest of ten children. She was the last surviving sibling and has been reunited with her brothers, sisters, and their spouses for a magnificent Alberda reunion: Edith (Harry) Leep, Peter (Hannah), Jake (Jean), Cora (Joe) Bos, Elizabeth (Garrett) Cole, Joe (Dorothy), Henry (Ellen), Jeanette, and William (Wilma).
Nelle received her elementary education at the Hills School and Hills Christian School before graduating from Manhattan Public School in 1943. She loved growing up on the family farm and had many stories about “going down the hill” to her older sisters’ and brothers’ homes to bring something or share news of the day. She spent much of her teenage years helping her sisters in their homes and cooking meals for the men working in the fields. Nelle also loved entertaining her nieces and nephews and treasured the lifelong relationships she had with them.
On March 17, 1946, Nelle married Jacob Cok at First Manhattan Christian Reformed Church in Churchill, MT. Less than a month later, Jake was inducted into the armed services. After Jake completed basic training, they moved to Pittsburg, CA for several months before he left to serve in the Philippines and Korea. Jake was discharged the following March and arrived home a few short weeks before the birth of their first son. Over the next 20 years, Jake and Nelle had eight more children; three of which they placed safely in the arms of Jesus as infants. The family can imagine the immeasurable joy Nelle is experiencing now holding her sons she never held on earth.
Nelle was not only a hardworking farm wife and homemaker, she was an active lifelong member of Manhattan Christian Reformed Church; serving in Coffee Break, Dorcas Guild and various committees at Manhattan Christian School. Nelle faithfully prayed for her children and grandchildren. Her greatest legacy was her family; it brought her no greater joy than having her family gather, hosting Sunday dinners and special occasions.
Nelle was a dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother who devoted her life to faith and trust in God. She shaped her children and grandchildren to live for and love the Lord. Her genuine love for others and generous spirit emanated through her words, hospitality, and service. Always prepared for unexpected guests, she opened her home to new families and church visitors. Many memories were made as she taught her daughters and grandchildren her secrets of the kitchen; running circles around them, even in her later years. She’s remembered with dirt on her gloves and weeds in her hands, growing flowers in her garden to bring God’s beauty to her home. She was resilient and had a hint of sass. Being productive was ingrained in her character, sitting around was not her norm; even in her last week she asked, “what should I do next?”
Jake and Nelle were inseparable for over 80 years; you would rarely see one without the other. They loved to travel and saw much of the United States; traveling with and visiting their families on vacations, reunions, and celebrating weddings and births. In the last few years, Jake and Nelle valued the time spent with their surviving Cok siblings and rarely missed their Tuesday lunch at The Korner Café. The love and devotion Jake and Nelle shared have been a testament to the countless lives they touched.
Nelle was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, infant son David, infant twin sons Dale and Daryl, granddaughter Amanda, son-in-law Bernard Schut; and brothers-in-law Steven Cok, Norman Sinnema, Herman Lindemulder, and Lloyd Flikkema.
Nelle is survived by her faithful husband of 74 years, Jake. Her children: Ron (Joan), Yvonne Schut, Tim (Lois), Bill (Theresa), Lisa (John) Pausma, and Janelle (Eric) Gustafson. She is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren: Josh (Liza) [Lucas, Oliver]; Jeremy (Tara) [Henry, Gemma, Jasper]; Paige (Rob) Light [Kamryn, Sierra, Mazzy]; Troy; Camilla; Ryan; Jared; Robert (Aspen) [Carly]; James (Mara); David (Chloe) Hays; Rhiana (Jason) Dornbos [Parker]; Shaun (Caroline) [Ezra]; Jacob Pausma; Zach (Caiti) Schut; Matthew (Brielle) Pausma [Logan, Hudson, Gibson]; Carissa Pausma; Anica (Dylan) Gooch; and Benjamin Gustafson. She is also survived by her siblings-in-law: Marjorie Alberda, John (Barb) Cok, and Wilma Flikkema.
A visitation will be held at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service on Wednesday, October 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. A committal service will be held at the Churchill Cemetery on October 29 at 2:00 pm. A celebration of Nelle’s life will be held at a later date. Memorials can be made in Nelle’s name to Manhattan Christian School Foundation.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service www.dokkennelson.com