On Saturday August 20, 2022 Roxanne "Roxi" Phillips Cook left this world with the same peace, grace and love she exuded throughout her life. Her husband, caregiver and soul mate, Cameron Cook, has been her constant companion throughout her journey through ALS as together they navigated the diagnosis, treatments, challenges of daily living and the end stages of this terrible disease. Cam was at her side as she shed her earthly shackles, adorned her heavenly attire with open arms, accepting heart and the welcoming of a body made whole by the life everlasting.
Roxanne was born November 21, 1981 in Scottsdale, Arizona to parents Clark and Doris Phillips. The family returned to Missouri where she and her two brothers Bill and Scott grew up. Roxi went to Columbia College and earned her teaching degree in 2004 following in the family tradition of education, teaching in her hometown of Blue Springs, Missouri. She obtained her master's degree in 2007. In 2008 she met her future husband Cameron Cook and they embarked on their journey to Montana in 2011. In Bozeman she taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades at Hyalite Elementary School for eleven years.
To witness Roxi's interaction with her students was to know her heart and her passion. Every student regardless of stature was treated as an equal and important part of her orbit. Roxi would meet her students on their level and validate their experience, making them feel as integral and heard as any grown up, an incredible sense of power for some of these children whose home life was less than nurturing. Roxi provided the foundation for every child encouraging him/her to be the best they could be and to pay forward the love, understanding and equity she shared with each one. There were rarely behavior issues in her classroom as her love and respect was reciprocated by her students. Roxi was a teacher to not only her students, but a teacher of patience, love, and insight to any adult who might happen to cross her path. If we all took the opportunity to listen to the quiet wisdom of Roxi the world would be a much better place. She saw the best in each of us, brought out the best in each of us and made us see and embrace the best in ourselves. There is a whole generation that was touched by the teachings of Miss Phillips/Mrs. Cook that we can all take heart they will perpetuate the love, compassion, thoughtfulness, and life that she bestowed upon them and they will become the people that make a difference just as Roxi prophesied they would, an incredible legacy of a life well lived.
Roxi touched every life she encountered: the students she loved, the celebrity status she and Cam, 'the Willowbrook Kids,' enjoyed in their neighborhood, the unconditional love she shared with her family and extended family and the inspiration and awe she provided to the casual passersby. Roxi's concern for each being before herself was demonstrated by her constant concern for everyone: her students and their well-being, a message of love and compassion for a sick family member the week before her passing and the promise from her ever-loving Cam that he was going to be okay despite her passing.
Roxi's journey can be likened to the Montana rivers she and Cam loved so much. Her love for family and the children she nurtured was bottomless like the deep eddies along the cut banks. Even when speech eluded Roxi, her laugh and the twinkle in her brown eyes were as welcoming and reassuring as the gentle water washing over the polished river rocks beneath the brilliant blue of the mountain waters. Like the river, Roxi understood her course well after living through the outcome of ALS in the passing of her father Clark Phillips and her brother Bill Phillips, and she and Cam embraced the challenges and fate with courage, optimism and dignity. ALS, like the uneven, stony, unforgiving bed of a river, charted a difficult journey for Roxi and Cam. This same path also illustrated their grit and inner strength as she refused to let her condition break her indomitable spirit and positive outlook, never taking even the simple things in life, walking, breathing, eating, for granted. Also like the length of the river she will be missed and mourned by the many lives that she touched throughout her life.
In remembrance of Roxi practice a few of the gifts that made her life so fulfilled: give someone a hug, tell them you love them, live with the innocence and purity of a child, buy a loved one an amazing and thoughtful gift, even if you need to put it on layaway, don't take the small things for granted, live in hope, never in fear and most of all look to the children whom she loved so much.
The family of Roxi would like to extend an enormous amount of gratitude to Randy Harrington of Price Rite for all his incredible support through the entire ALS journey as well as the entire Willow Brook Community of Bozeman with a special thank you to Dan and Beverly Wanders whom she loved so dearly.
Services to honor Roxi's beautiful life and spirit will be Sunday, August 28th at 2:00PM at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service in Bozeman. We ask that all in attendance be willing to wear a mask for safety and well-being.
Condolences & Memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
The service will be livestreamed using Zoom which is a free application. Simply click this link at 2pm MST to join the event virtually: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81370565814