In Memory of





Obituary for Norma Jean Cook (Melton)

Norma Jean Cook of White Hall, Arkansas, passed away peacefully in her home on Sunday, April 10, 2022. She was born on January 12, 1942, in Monticello, Arkansas to James T. Melton and Irene (Hart).

She attended school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1960. After graduation, she joined the United States Air Force and then married Technical Sergeant Ronald P. Snyder. She had Ronda and Shannon. After he was unexpectedly killed in action, she moved back to Arkansas.

In Arkansas she met and married Robert Ferguson. She was blessed with Kristen. In 1975 she married Jack Cook and added another daughter, Jill.

In the early 80’s, she began working as a kindergarten teacher at Maranatha Christian School and continued for several years. She was active in her church and volunteered as a club leader for Jefferson County 4-H. She was fortunate enough to live very close to her mother and sister and enjoyed spending time with them as much as possible.

In 1997, she was attending a missions conference at church and felt called to volunteer with a team that would be ministering in Guyana, South America. She left all she knew and followed His lead. She moved there in 1997 and adopted Malisa while she was there and then moved back to Arkansas.

When she returned and got settled in again, she became a certified chaplain and volunteered her time at the women’s prison in Wrightsville. She then trained and served as an Ombudsman for local nursing home residents. She also volunteered as a Lifeguard with Hope of the Delta Pregnancy Center. Most recently, she helped welcome kids to the service on Wednesday nights at Oakland Heights Missionary Baptist Church. Through all of this, her heart to reach others was so evident and she touched more lives than any of us will ever know on this side of eternity.

More than anything, she loved the Lord and was ready to share the Good News any chance she got. She was a prayer warrior and if she said she would pray for you, she meant it. She had seen the power of prayer and His grace in her own life and wanted everyone around her to know about His love, mercy, and forgiveness. One of her favorite verses was II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” She loved to use the illustration of the lowly caterpillar that transformed into a beautiful butterfly. She gave away hundreds of prints with a butterfly and this verse, sharing the story of His goodness in her life. She didn’t fear death, because she believed that she was bound for Heaven with a new body and an eternity with her Savior and Lord.

She is survived by two brothers, Bill (Janie) Melton and Neal (Jeanie) Hewitt, her daughters Ronda (Scott) Backus of Phoenix, AZ, and children Joshua (Sabrina) of Phoenix, Jackie (Kurt) Hammerquist of Phoenix, AZ  Aimee (Brendan) Reina of Sierra Vista, AZ; Shannon (Marshall) Owen of Griffith Springs, AR and children Matthew (Sara) Owen of Van Buren, AR, Timothy (Elisabed) Owen of Griffith Springs, AR; Kriste McCray and children Infiniti McCray and Destini McCray all of Homewood, AL; Jill (Michael) Phillips and children Mackenzie Phillips and Madison Phillips of Marshfield, MO and Malisa Cook of White Hall, AR. She has twelve great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews and “bonus kids” that meant so much to her, along with her church family.

We would like to thank the incredible staff of Arkansas Hospice for caring for her in her final days. You’ll never know how big of a blessing you were to our family. 

 In lieu of flowers, we would love for you to honor her legacy with a gift to Hope of the Delta Pregnancy Care Center (Pine Bluff) or to the children’s ministry of Oakland Heights Missionary Baptist Church (White Hall, AR). 

 Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 14th at Robinson and Fuller White Hall Funeral Chapel from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Graveside services will be held at the Old Saline Church Cemetery in Allis, AR at 11:00 am on Friday, April 15th and a memorial service will be held at Oakland Heights Missionary Baptist Church at 3:00 pm.