She was a life member of the Town and Country Extension Club, Nyah Grange, Little Bitterroot Grange, Senior Citizen Center, and Presbyterian Women. She was a Deacon in the First Presbyterian Church and loved making the communion wafers. In Grange, she was a Lecturer, Lady Assistant Steward, Secretary, and State Chaplain. She was an election judge for many years in national elections.
Della loved her family. She was well known for her cooking, especially for her dinner rolls and for her excellent huckleberry, apple, lemon, and rhubarb pies. She won many prizes at the Sanders County Fair for her sweet peas, gladiolas, apple butter, rolls, and applesauce. She made baby blankets for her grandchildren and stitched crewel hangings for her walls. As a young woman, she chorded on the piano as her brothers played the fiddle at dances. She played the piano for her students during school plays and class activities. While on the ranch, she drove the tractor, planted and grew the garden, helped brand the cattle, fed the bulls, canned fruit and vegetables, and cut wood for the stove. She liked to paint inside and outside the house. She once painted the barn and chicken house by herself.
Some of her words of wisdom were: “You can’t help being poor but you can always be clean. You can always buy a bar of soap.” “It’s as important to be as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.”
Della is preceded in death by her husbands, Dean Sampson and James Cook, and daughter, Marena Downs. She is survived by her son, Monty (Patti) Sampson of Sequim, Wash.; daughter, Cathy (Rick) Roggia of South Jordan, Utah; son-in-law, Jerry (Gail) Downs, of Republic, Wash.; and ten grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by Jim Cook’s extended family, “the kids”, whom she loved as her own, especially Don and Carolyn, Robert, Jeannine, Geraldine, and Linda, who provided so much love and support to her over the years as her Montana family.
A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Wed., June 18, 2014 at the First Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs. Memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Church or the Murray Memorial Cemetery