Born November 19, 1939, in Hollister, California, Sylvia Louise Ackerman is the sixth of seven children. She lived in Tres Pinos (Three Pines), California until the age of four when her father bought a 22-acre ranch outside of Hollister, California.
Sylvia began first grade in a two-room country school at the age of six. By the age of twelve she was active in 4-H sewing. Graduating from elementary school—eighth grade—in 1953, meant riding a school bus to Hollister High where Sylvia played clarinet as she marched in the band. While in high school, her skill in dress design and sewing led her to be crowned “Cotton Queen.”
After high school graduation, in 1957, Sylvia worked as a dental assistant. While attending meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the small Hollister branch, Sylvia met a handsome young missionary from Idaho—Kenneth Leon Cook. Eighteen months after their first meeting and after being released from his mission, Ken returned to Hollister. Ken and Sylvia were engaged soon after and married on March 17, 1959, in the Los Angeles Temple.
After just one month of marriage, while living in Rigby, Idaho, Ken joined the U.S. Army Reserve. When he was stationed in Fort Ord, California, Sylvia returned to her family home at the ranch. Being “stationed” with her parents allowed her to be closer to her new husband.
While living in Salt Lake City so that Ken could continue his education, Sylvia gave birth to a daughter, Brenda, in November 1960. The family moved back to California, living there briefly before returning to Idaho, where another daughter, Laura, was born in Rigby in March 1962. Once again, Sylvia and Ken moved to California for employment, this time purchasing a home and planting their own growing family’s roots in the agricultural valley of Salinas. It was in Salinas that a son, Kenneth (Kenny) was added to the family in January 1965 and Linda was born in September 1967. In November 1973, Ken and Sylvia moved to Utah and purchased a home in North Logan—the same house in which they now live—and they began weekly square-dancing dates. They continued their family tradition of camping and hiking trips.
Sylvia worked at the Utah State University Bookstore from 1974-1982. After leaving the Bookstore, she filled her time with gardening, family history, grandchildren, and caring for her widowed mother.
Together, Sylvia and Ken served a 2 ½ year mission at the Logan Home Storage Center, accepted callings in the Logan Temple as ordinance workers, and still keep busy as founding members of the Cache Valley Antique Car Club. They now have 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.