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Phillip Cook


FARMINGTON – Phillip Dwayne Cook, Sr., 64, passed away February 10, 2018, at home in Ste. Genevieve County. He was born July 14, 1953, in Bakersfield, California to Geneva (Flud) Whitley and the late Floyd Cook. In addition to his father he was preceded in death by his wife, Jerry Ann (Mitchell) Cook in December of 2013 and a brother, Larry Dean Cook.

Phil as most knew him, grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California. In 1987 he moved to Stoddard County, Missouri, and then on to the Farmington, Missouri area. Most of his adult life was spent working in the construction business working primarily with framing, dry wall and painting. Phil loved to paint and had the patience to do so. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting, farming and barbequing. He loved his three dogs, Buffy, Chubs and Peppy who he leaves behind.

Survivors in addition to his mother include his three sons, Phillip (Patti) Cook, Jr., Brandon (Corrina Cranmer) Cook and James (Christina) Cook; step-daughter, Lory Ann Cavazos; fourteen grandchildren; three great grandchildren; his siblings, Dale Whitley, Daniel Cook, Ricky Gene Cook, Scott Whitley, Roger Whitley, Shelly Whitley, Stacey Whitley and Tammy Whitley; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

Friends may call on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at Cozean Memorial Chapel from 3 to 4 p.m. Funeral services will follow at 4 p.m. in the Cozean Chapel with Rev. Bryan Smith officiating. Private interment will follow at a later time. Memorials if desired may be made to the Christian Life Church of Farmington. View the tribute video and share your condolences at

Sense & Sensitivity

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I just had our first child. We are loving being parents so far, but are having a serious debate about whether we should be teaching our daughter how to swim. My husband was trained to swim as an infant by his parents and supervised by an instructor. He explained to me the process of infant swim training. He says he is glad his parents made him go through this, and he wants to put our daughter in these classes. I have looked up online what the training entails, and I am disturbed by it. There has been controversy about whether it is good for the child. My husband is very set on this, but I am not 100 percent comfortable with it. How do I get him to change his mind about the swim classes? -- Not for Swim Training My Infant, Washington, D.C.

DEAR NOT FOR SWIM TRAINING MY INFANT: Full disclosure: I learned to swim at age 4. My younger sister was a few months old. I got my daughter swim lessons starting at 11 months old. In other words, I am a believer in early swim training. That said, I feel strongly that you should find a certified swim teacher for your infant. What you can do to feel more comfortable is to identify a class that is focused on infants. We used the YMCA, which has swim programs across the country.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a 28-year-old woman who is in a steady relationship. I am currently on birth control (an IUD that lasts three years at a time). I am due to have it removed next month. I have discussed it with my partner, but I have not asked him if I should be getting another IUD that lasts three years. I don't want to assume that we will be having a child anytime soon, but I also don't want to automatically throw it off the table by getting another birth control device put in. Should I discuss this with my boyfriend, and if so, how? -- Birth Control Confused, Charlotte, North Carolina

DEAR BIRTH CONTROL CONFUSED: Given your age, the status of your relationship and the parameters of your birth control method, it is time for you to have a serious talk with your boyfriend about the future. If you get the IUD now, you will be 31 before you remove it. Do you want to wait that long to consider having a child? Decide for yourself what you think about your future, and then broach the topic with your boyfriend.

Birth control can sometimes make a couple feel like the pressure to make decisions about the future has been removed, but that should not be the case. Now is a perfect time for you to talk about your plans. What do the two of you want for your lives? This should include whether you think you are in the relationship for the long haul, whether you want to have children and, if so, when. If your boyfriend gets agitated when you bring this up, remind him that there is a natural reason for it. You have to decide about the IUD.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a Spanish speaker and find it infuriating when my co-worker "Connie" pretends to speak Spanish by affecting a horrible accent and adding an "o" to words. I don't think she understands all of the implications that come from her actions. Should I tell Connie that the office is branding her as a racist and not a comedian? -- Learn It or Lose It, Bangor, Maine

DEAR LEARN IT OR LOSE IT: Rather than making a comment to Connie about the office branding her as racist, be specific about how you feel. Educate her. There is a good chance that Connie's actions are pure ignorance, potentially without malice. This does not make her behavior any less offensive, by the way, but it may allow you to have more compassion for her.

Tell Connie that when she attempts to speak Spanish extremely poorly that you find it offensive, not funny. Point out that what she is doing seems racist to you whether that is her intention or not. Let her know that you suspect that you are not the only person who looks down on what seems like mockery of Spanish speakers. Suggest that she stop.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I found out some information about what a "friend" was saying about me behind my back. I chose to ignore this but distance myself from her. "Blaise" has just noticed that I haven't spoken to her much in the past months and has been bombarding me, expressing her love for me and trying to get together. I never confronted her when I first found out that she'd been a bad friend, and now don't know how to react to her. Beating a dead horse is pointless, but she also might deserve an explanation of why I essentially cut her out of my life. Which option should I choose? -- Too Long Ago, Jackson, Mississippi

DEAR TOO LONG AGO: Walking away from a deceitful friendship can sometimes work. When you know with certainty that someone has spoken badly about you, it is OK to step back rather than confront the person. But when that person reaches out, bewildered, trying to reconnect, it can absolutely be worth it for you to respond. She deserves to know why you disconnected from her.

What's more, if you let her know that you are aware of her behavior -- specifically telling her what you learned that she said about you -- you will be able to clear the air. This doesn't mean that she will admit to having made the comments. Often people lie. Ultimately, you will have to decide whether you will let this woman back into your life.

I do recommend that you forgive her. This is because holding on to this grudge will hurt you far more than it will hurt her. Be willing to hear her out, draw your own conclusions about how much you can trust her now that time has passed, forgive her and continue to live your life. Do not let her sidetrack you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going home more and more to see my ailing grandfather. He remains very upbeat and asks me why I have traveled so far every time I visit. He doesn't have much time left and has been told this; however, it doesn't seem to be sticking. Driving 300 miles isn't the hardest part about going home. It's not knowing what to tell him when he questions me. What can I say to my grandfather? His mind is still there, but his body is betraying him. -- Last Weeks, Detroit

DEAR LAST WEEKS: Tell your grandfather stories about your life. Tell him about your journey to visit him. Did you see anything interesting on your drive? Describe the sunrise and sunset. Tell him about your friends, your home, your job. Be selective with your stories. To the best of your ability, tell positive stories that show glimpses into how you live your daily life.

You should also ask him about his life. Invite him to tell you about his childhood, family and friends. Ask him what he liked to do when he was a child. Ask him to tell you about when he met your grandmother. Learn from him any and everything he remembers and is willing to share. Once you get him going with stories, it may be easier the next time you visit. You can ask him to pick up where he left off. With prompting, he may be able to share many gems about his life before he passes on.

DEAR HARRIETTE: A running joke within my circle is that I run on "Tatiana time." I am late to everything and can't seem to quit this horrible habit. Friends lie to me about flight times, showtimes and reservations so that I will arrive closer to the actual time.

I need to stop being late, but nobody believes in my ability to do this. Setting alarms earlier doesn't do much to rouse me because I know I am tricking myself. How do I finally scrap "Tatiana time" for good? -- Own Clock, Portland, Oregon

DEAR OWN CLOCK: Step back for a moment and take a hard look at what you are doing. You are being disrespectful to your friends, your family and ultimately to yourself. Being late is rude and irresponsible. I hate to be so harsh about it, but clearly this is what you need. Think about how you are treating the people you say you love. It is not fair.

That so many have attempted to figure out creative ways to get you to be on time, only for that to fail, says that you are not taking this seriously enough. Indeed, even your own alarm-setting isn't working. I believe this is because you have not accepted the depth of the negative repercussions that you are causing. So please consider that if you do not improve, you could lose your job, your friends and even the support of your family. Is this what you want? If not, tell yourself that being timely is important, and just do it.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriends and I are admittedly a catty group. We have frequent drama but always end up growing closer when all is said and done. Recently, a friend's husband, "Al," has been getting involved in our arguments. Having a friend's husband call me to discuss something I said about his wife is ludicrous to me. We are all grown women who don't need husbands meddling in our drama. How can I tell Al that his two cents are not (and will never be) welcome? -- Not Your Battle, Boston

DEAR NOT YOUR BATTLE: Consider a different thought here. If Al is contacting you about your argument with his wife, there's a chance that his wife is still upset about whatever you discussed with her. It may easily be that she leaves your argument and either goes home still angry or, worse, her husband overhears her on the phone -- or in person -- arguing with you and has to pick up the pieces when she pivots to him.

My point? Take heed. Perhaps you are being a bit too catty, and this is why Al is speaking up in defense of his wife for the sake of peace in his household. Rather than rebuffing him, let his call to you be your wake-up call to tone down the drama.

DEAR HARRIETTE: If a couple gets back together after an extended breakup (months to years), is a new anniversary date set? I personally started over, but my best friend claims that getting back together is simply a continuation of the past relationship. Should I be shifting over the anniversary date? -- Modern Love, Minneapolis

DEAR MODERN LOVE: Instead of talking to your best friend about this, it is appropriate to talk to your partner. The two of you are in this relationship together. Does it feel like this is a total new beginning or a continuation of what you had together in the past? Do the two of you want to mark your coming back together as a fresh start? Talk about it.

Some couples have rededication ceremonies or even anniversary weddings to honor their continued union. You can do whatever you want. The point is that you consider your options together and decide together how you want to acknowledge the bond that you have.

Getting your friends involved could prove problematic, especially given that you have just gotten back into each other's lives in a committed way. Chances are your friends know a lot about the negative experiences that you had with each other. People tend to moan long and often about the bad stuff. It is best not to mix the friendships in with the romance. Reserve a special part of your life for your partner that you do not share with others, unless you both agree that it is OK to do so. This may take a while to put into practice, since it is likely not how you have been operating. Trust that it is worth it. To preserve and strengthen your relationship, you must put it first.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106

Evelyn M. Lard

PARK HILLS -- Evelyn M. Lard (Townsel) passed away from a heart attack Monday, January 29, 2018, at age 71, in Park Hills, Missouri. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Samuel E. Lard; son, Samuel Lard II; daughter, Andria Danine Simckes; beloved grandchildren Kacey Gill, Liam, Naava, Ayden and Maayan Simckes; Sammy and Dominique Lard; older brother Samuel “Roy” Townsel; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her brother, Robert Townsel and sister, Mary Hairston.

Originally from Jenkinjones, West Virginia, Evelyn moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she graduated from John Hay High School. She eventually met and married Sam and raised their children in Wickliffe, Ohio. Evelyn worked at and retired from Kennametal, located in Solon, Ohio, after being there 20 plus years. She moved to Missouri in 2003 to assist Andria during her pregnancy and to be closer to her grandchildren.

Honoring her request, no memorial will be held for Evelyn. In lieu of flowers, please help raise awareness about women’s heart disease and donate in her memory to the American Heart Association and its Go Red for Women campaign, at or 1-800-242-8721.

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: When I was 16 and wanted to get married, my father suggested I write to Dear Abby (your mom was writing the column back then) and ask her opinion. He said he would agree with what she said. I did, and Abby wrote me back. We did get married, and I decided that on our 25th anniversary, I would let you know how we were doing. You printed my letter.

As we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary year, I want you to know our marriage has only strengthened. A very young couple who began life together with no idea what path we would take has experienced the best that life could offer. We have two beautiful daughters, wonderful grandchildren and a great-grandchild. We've had success in our careers, traveled the world, visited every state in our great country and can confidently relate that life has been good.

Commitment through the good and bad times is the key to a lasting marriage. It isn't always easy, but the rewards far outweigh the problems. -- TOOK THE ADVICE IN MONTANA

DEAR TOOK THE ADVICE: I'm pleased to know you are as happy on your 50th anniversary as you were on your 25th. It's interesting you would say that the key to a lasting marriage is commitment. I would offer that it is also mutual respect. (My mother once said that the key to a lasting marriage is a husband who lasts!)

My warmest congratulations to you both, and a very happy Valentine's Day to you, your husband and to all my readers.

DEAR ABBY: I'm married to a beautiful woman, "Suzonne." We are bodybuilders and into fitness, so we are both quite muscular.

Recently, my wife cut her hair short. It's a great look for her, and we both love the style. Unfortunately, some people have begun calling her "sir" at work and when she's out and about. Suzonne waits tables a couple of nights a week for extra income. Some of the customers have gone so far as to keep calling her "sir" after she has told them that she's female.

This infuriates me because it's so disrespectful. I know it hurts my wife's feelings, although she has been super strong about it. It's plain when you look at Suzonne that she is a beautiful woman.

How can she nip this in the bud before it starts to make her feel bad? I feel a strong need to defend her, and I don't want to get into a physical altercation with anyone over it. -- HURT FEELINGS IN FLORIDA

DEAR HURT FEELINGS: Because your wife has a muscular build and a short haircut, it's possible some of the individuals who call her "sir" are making an honest mistake. However, for someone to persist after being informed that she is a woman is extremely rude. (It makes me wonder if the offender has a warped sense of humor or is threatened by her muscular appearance.)

When it happens at work, Suzonne should ask her manager how the situation should be handled rather than allow it to continue. But under no circumstances should you get into a physical altercation because of it. Instead, on the home front, continue to reassure your wife that she's beautiful.

DEAR ABBY: My husband refuses to memorize my cellphone number. He says as long as it's in his phone he doesn't need to. I feel he should know it so if he loses the phone or the battery goes dead, I can be reached. What do you think? -- LOGICAL IN KANSAS

DEAR LOGICAL: Experience is the best teacher. I think you should stop arguing with your husband and let him suffer the consequences. An option might be for him to jot the number on a small piece of paper and keep it in his wallet.

DEAR ABBY: I am increasingly reluctant to attend social and church events because several members of our group photograph everything and post the pictures online. My husband and I are private people, and we are uncomfortable with this. Why do people think they have the right to do this, and what can we do to stop it? -- DISCOURAGED IN THE EAST

DEAR DISCOURAGED: People post photos of themselves, their activities, their meals, etc. for a variety of reasons. Because you and your husband prefer not to be "memorialized" this way, tell the person taking the photos that you prefer to remain out of camera range -- and request that in the future, any shot you might "accidentally" be in not be posted. If the person demands to know why, say, "Because I don't want anyone from the IRS to find us."

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Ken," decided to have his mother move in with us without first asking me how I felt about it. I don't want to be insensitive. I know she has nowhere else to go. The problem is, she's the most domineering person I have ever known. If she enters a room and doesn't like a picture, she'll move it or get rid of it without asking.

When I tried to warn my husband that this wouldn't be easy, his response was, "You just don't like my mother." I do like her, but I don't know that I can live with her. I feel like my marriage is hanging by a thread. Any advice? -- SERIOUSLY STRESSED-OUT

DEAR SERIOUSLY STRESSED: Your mother-in-law is acting like YOUR house is HER house. Set her straight. And if your husband tells you, "You just don't like my mother," tell him that it isn't that you don't like her; it's that you don't like the way she's acting and you will no longer tolerate it.

DEAR ABBY: When is it appropriate to correct someone's spelling and/or punctuation errors? Our pastor writes a message in our church's monthly newsletter and invariably makes several grammar or spelling mistakes. The church secretary also makes mistakes in our weekly bulletin and never catches the pastor's errors. In addition, the day care personnel at our church make mistakes in the written lessons for the children.

I have offered to proofread for our pastor and secretary, but they never take me up on my offer. I grew up in a time when accuracy mattered, but nowadays many folks think that if one can make oneself understood, that is good enough. I'm interested in what you would advise. -- FUSSY WRITER IN MARYLAND

DEAR WRITER: You were kind to volunteer to edit the bulletins and newsletters, but you can't force the pastor and church secretary to accept your generous offer. However, because young children model the behavior of the adults around them, my advice to the parents would be to remove theirs from any program in which the day care personnel are so poorly educated they can't use proper English.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Ask The Doctors

DEAR DOCTOR: Every morning upon waking, I feel an even/steady pulsing of about 200 beats per minute, although my pulse is normally about 60 beats per minute. I'm 84, with no symptoms of atrial fibrillation and a body mass index of 24. I take no medications and have no aches and pains. Again, this high pulse rate occurs only when I wake up, and I feel normal at the time. What could be causing this, and should I be concerned?

DEAR READER: Yes, you should be concerned. At the age of 84, even with extreme exertion, your pulse should not be so high.

Before we explore potential causes, let's discuss what creates the pulse, or heart rate. The pulse rate that you feel in your wrist or neck occurs with contraction of the ventricles, the large muscular portions of the heart. Normally, the atria, which sit atop the ventricles, initiate the pulse, which then travels down the ventricles.

The pulse rate can be affected by, among other things, disorders of the atria, including -- as you mentioned -- atrial fibrillation. This haphazard rhythm of the atria can indeed produce pulse rates of 200, but not the even, steady pulse that you describe. Atrial flutter -- a regular rapid beating of the heart that, like fibrillation, can originate from multiple parts of the atria -- is possible but perhaps unlikely because the fast beating of the atria would only be able to cause contraction of the ventricles at certain intervals. Thus, pulse rates of 300, 150, 100, 75 or 60 are possible, but a 200 rate would occur only under certain conditions. Atrial tachycardia -- a regular rapid beating originating from one section of the atrium -- can cause rates of 200, so this is a possibility.

Disorders of the ventricles also can cause a very rapid heart rate. Here, instead of the atria initiating the pulse rate, a portion of the ventricles creates its own rate. This can occur when the muscular part of the heart is damaged, leading to an electrical impulse that causes the whole ventricle to contract. Ventricular fibrillation, like atrial fibrillation, is a disorganized rhythm of the heart and the leading cause of sudden cardiac death. Due to your lack of symptoms and the regularity to your pulse rate, this seems unlikely.

Perhaps most likely is ventricular tachycardia, which has a regular rhythm with rates greater than 100 and can have rates as high as 250. Besides having a fast heart rate, those with short bursts of ventricular tachycardia may not feel any other symptoms.

We also have to consider the fact that this happens only in the morning. That takes us to our bodies' circadian rhythm, which means the core processes of the body fluctuate depending upon the time of day. For that reason, increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood vessel constriction and clotting are greatest in the morning. Similarly, heart attacks are more frequent in the morning, as are ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia.

Note that alcohol withdrawal and intoxication can increase this risk of abnormal heart rhythms.

Conditions like atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter increase your risk for strokes, while ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia may increase the risk of sudden death. Undoubtedly, I recommend seeing your doctor. He or she can order a heart monitor to measure your heart rate and, more important, determine what type of rhythm is causing this.

Robert Ashley, M.D., is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Send your questions to, or write: Ask the Doctors, c/o Media Relations, UCLA Health, 924 Westwood Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA, 90095. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.