TOWERY, LOUISE COOK (1928 ~ 2016). The following is an obituary for Louise Cook Towery, spouse of Ken Towery, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. The obituary was provided by Weed, Corley, Fish Funeral Home of Austin.
After a lengthy illness, Louise Cook ("Cookie") Towery died peacefully in Austin, TX, December 1, 2016, surrounded by family. She was 88 years old. She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Roland Kenneth (Ken)Towery.
Louise Ida Cook was born September 13, 1928 at her home in Knippa, Texas to Henry A. Cook and Anna Belle Wollschlaeger Cook. She was the second youngest girl in a family of four other sisters: Clara Cook Brucks, Helen Cook McFadin, of Uvalde, Anna Lee Cook, and the youngest Mabel Cook Paradeaux, of Luling. All the girls helped their mother and father work the family's drylands farm.
A 1946 graduate of Knippa, High School, Louise went to work immediately at the County Agricultural Office in Uvalde. She soon met and fell in love with Roland Kenneth Towery and they were married in Houston, Texas on May 4, 1947. Louise laughingly recalls that the courtship was a whirlwind because, "Ken was in a hurry".
Louise's life then turned to caring for her husband, the two children to follow, Roland Kenneth Towery Jr., and Alice Towery Gilroy, and then the grandchildren. Her purpose was to serve in whatever capacity was needed to assist her husband in regaining his health after 3 1/2 years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, in his career, and in always lovingly keeping the home fires burning for her family. She never seemed to tire and had a reputation of being able to "out work" anyone in the family. Even her neighbors were prone to call her in times of crisis including a call for her to come get a water moccasin out from under a cabinet. She was 80 years old at the time of that encounter and won the battle.
She was by her husband's side when they moved to Cuero and he eventually went to work at the newspaper as a editor/reporter. But first, she had to teach Ken how to type. The typing paid off through a series of stories Ken wrote, while at "The Cuero Record", that eventually earned him the Pulitzer Prize. She was by his side in his newspaper career covering state and national politics in Austin. Then the two moved their family to McLean, Virginia where she worked side by side with him in the world of politics and presidential campaigns.
When her husband retired, the two moved back to Austin, Texas and took on the quieter life of Political Consulting management and owning several weekly newspapers: The Floyd County Hesperian-Beacon, The Belton Journal, and The Crosby County News and Chronicle. She was also her husband's biggest support, research assistant, and editor for his book, "The Chow Dipper".
She was preceded in death by her husband, and sisters, Clara Brucks and Anna Lee Cook.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Alice and Leonard Gilroy, of Austin; a son, Roland Kenneth Towery Jr., of Austin; four grandchildren: Roland Kenneth Towery III and his wife Jamie, of Savannah, Georgia; Rachel Sines and her husband David, of Winter Garden, Florida; Athena Towery, of Baltimore, Maryland; and Brandon Gilroy, of Austin; and three great-grandchildren: Watson Sterner, of Baltimore; and Archer Towery and Ezra Towery, of Savannah.
Visitation will be held Sunday, December 4, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Weed-Corley-Fish North Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar, Austin. Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, Dec. 5th in the chapel of Weed-Corley-Fish. Interment will follow at the Texas State Cemetery.