Obituary: Dr. Nancy Louise Burchfield-Cook
– December 14, 2021
Dr. Nancy Louise Burchfield-Cook, 62, of Solvang, California and Steamboat Springs Colorado, passed away beautifully and peacefully on December 14, 2021, at 7:20 pm, escorted by angels and surrounded by her family. Nancy was born in Los Angeles and spent her formative years living in Roscomare Canyon in West Los Angeles and in Fredensborg Canyon in the Santa Ynez Valley. She graduated from University High School in West LA in 1977. In 1984, she graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. She later went on to receive a Doctorate in Veterinarian Medicine (1991) followed by a residency and master’s degree in Equine Reproductive Science. She wed Mark Allen Cook in 1984 and started a family in Fort Collins, Colorado. She resided in Larimer and Routt counties for more than half of her life and loved the Rocky Mountains with all her soul.
Her abiding passion was in nurturing the animal/human bond and she considered this her primary mission in life. A truly gifted “whisperer”, Nance spent much of her professional career working in Equine Theriogenology. Her substantial training in equine reproduction set the equine world on fire, as she dipped both her heart and mind (and a few toes), in the advent of frozen equine semen. Nancy was far ahead of the game with regard to oocyte transfer as well, for her CSU graduate years had made her one of the original pioneers of oocyte aspiration. She was one of a very few women practicing in a field that was largely dominated by men at that time. All this while giving such time, energy, and devotion on many fronts; first to raising her children, securing her family, building a practice, tending to her patients, and to absorbing everything she could to be the best she could be.
Her lifetime of learning and expanding her knowledge into practice never abated nor ceased. She was an enthusiastic member of American Association of Equine Practitioners and The Society for Theriogenology, and the California Veterinary Medical Association. In 2020, Nancy established the Benevolence Endowment in AAEP’s Foundation for the Horse in honor of her maternal grandfather, Lowell R. Hoff.
Even while she thrived on doing scientific research – her heart was always in hands-on ambulatory and clinical work. She was a caring and devoted teacher at heart and enjoyed expanding peoples understanding of their animal friends as she patiently offered her extensive skills in service of their health and well-being. The needs of her clients always superseded those of her own as she saw herself ultimately as a servant for the greater good of the entire equine communities in California and Colorado.
Vocational aspirations aside, her avocational interests include a wide range of outdoor recreational and agrarian pursuits: backpacking, camping, fishing, goat-herding, hiking, kayaking, open-water swimming, and snorkeling. Her absolute primary passion in life was horse-back riding. Moreover, her love for the beauty of the natural world led to a lifetime of travel to visit distant islands, forests, beaches, and mountains. In all of this she was a grateful, happy, and willing participant.
Her kind and courageous spirit will be missed by all who knew her. Fortunate indeed are those who were able to share her life and her love while she was here in this world. Her monument and testimony are written in the stars and will never fade throughout the ages. All that and much more…
She is survived by her husband Robert Burchfield; her daughter Jenna Marlinda Korgan (and husband Brandon); her son Kasey Porter Lee Cook (and wife Abby); her sister Pamela Ann Porter; and nine grandchildren.
We will see her again – but not yet…
A memorial celebration of her life will be held in early June in Solvang, California. All who love Nancy and were loved by her are welcome to attend. Contact her husband Rob Burchfield for additional details to follow (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Should friends desire, memorial gifts can be made to the “Equine Embryology Fund” at Colorado State University (contact: Gillian.Townsend@colostate.edu) or the AAEP Foundation for the Horse “Horses at Risk Endowment Fund” (The Foundation for the Horse).
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